By: Llwyd Ecclestone.
With respect to the discussion surrounding the undergrounding of our utility services, I offer the following opinion based on my years of developing many projects in Palm Beach County.
For example, when I developed Lost Tree Village in 1965, we began using underground wiring and it continues to provide all residents with reliable service today. We also used it in my projects at PGA National, Old Port Cove and Ibis Golf and Country Club with great success and provided uninterrupted and reliable electrical service to our residents.
Concerns early on were that the wiring would not last, rot, disintegrate, cause power outages and not be durable enough to use underwater. This was proven not to be the case for numerous reasons, but most importantly because underground wiring is specifically developed for underwater use.
For example, there is underground wiring in the Intracoastal waterway between Palm Beach and West Palm Beach that has been in effective use for at least 100 years.
Yes, there will be costs and some inconveniences involved. However, the inconveniences will happen whether we decide to replace our old existing power poles with new concrete poles, or convert to underground wiring.
It is worth noting that construction for undergrounding would not happen all at once throughout the entire town. It would begin at both the north and south ends of Palm Beach and work its way inward. There is no denying that there will be inconveniences, but streets throughout the whole town are not going to be tied up or torn up all at once.
In the final analysis, the cost of undergrounding is estimated to range from a few hundred dollars a year to $1,000 or more, depending upon the size of your home. While the cost is real, I think that undergrounding will increase the value of your home by a greater amount than the cost to you and increase the enjoyment of your home when a storm or other interruption does occur.
Residents of Palm Beach Vote Yes FOR the Bond to Underground on Tuesday, March 15!