Here's the latest news about Undergrounding in the Town of Palm Beach
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Tuesday 2/2/2016: Town To Unveil On-line Search Tool To View Undergrounding Assessment Costs Per Property
The Town of Palm Beach will present the new on-line search tool to view Town-wide undergrounding assessment costs by property at the Tuesday, February 2, 2016, Underground Utilities Task Force meeting. The search tool will allow residents to look up their property address and determine their individual estimated cost of the proposed undergrounding project.
If Palm Beach utilities referendum fails, higher power poles to come
At a recent Underground Utilities Task Force meeting, Councilman Richard Kleid stepped to the microphone and said some residents may find the alternative to burying utility lines — taller, wider poles — unappealing.
There’s good news for property owners who’d like to know how much the town-wide burial of utilities would cost them: an online search tool that puts the information at their fingertips.
A database with the assessment figures for every affected property in town will be posted online on Tuesday at www.undergroundpalmbeach.com, said Rick Asnani, registered agent with Cornerstone Solutions, the West Palm Beach agency hired by the town to inform the public about the project.
Undergrounding Success Stories
Local Palm Beach neighborhoods have already completed or are in the process of completing undergrounding. Almost all new master planned communities being built in Florida today have underground utilities.
- Everglades Island
- Via Fontana
- Lake Towers
- Nightingale(South Side) /La Puerta(North Side)
- Jupiter Island
- Jupiter Inlet Colony
- Gulf Stream
- Golden Beach
- Sunny Isles
- Winter Park
- Longboat Key
A breakdown of the $90 million cost (Source: Town of Palm Beach)
- Closing costs on bonds: $400,000
- Engineering: $5.4 million.
- Contractor management fees: $3.4 million.
- Legal costs: $4.3 million
- Survey costs: $1.2 million
- FPL utility conversion: $27.1 million ($35 million minus a 25 percent discount of $7.9 million).
- AT&T and Comcast utility conversion: $8.9 million
- FPL service connections to homes: $10 million.
- Landscaping: $1.5 million.
- Asphalt milling and resurfacing: $12.8 million
- Town’s 20 percent contingency: $14.9 million.
Palm Beach zoning board: Landscaping around new utility boxes should be mandatory
Not every aspect of an underground utility system is actually below ground.
If a town plan to bury all utilities in town is approved by voters in a March 15 referendum, the new system will come with an aesthetic blight of its own: electrical transformer boxes. The transformers — about 4 feet by 4 feet in size — will be situated on concrete pads on residents’ front lawns. Alongside them will be smaller metal boxes necessary for cable television and phone service, town officials have said.
What Other Communities are Doing to Hide Utilitiy Boxes
Palm Beach will need easements from homeowners for utilities burial
The town could end up spending thousands to fight residents unwilling to give access to their properties for the town-wide burial of utilities.
Officials need to obtain property easements from about 25 percent of single family homeowners to install above-ground transformers — metal boxes that will sit on concrete pads on the front lawns.
Benefits to Residents
- Undergrounding will avoid large FPL “Hardened Poles” throughout the Island and eliminate wooden poles and unsightly power lines.
- Roads and impacted areas will be restored to previous or better conditions.
- All powerlines, telephone and cable TV lines will be underground.
- Undergrounding the entire Island provides more reliability than individual project areas.
- FPL indicates undergrounding provides an increase in reliability and fewer outages.
- Removing overhead utilities from our road right-of-ways will provide safer roadways.
- No hazards or outages from tree limbs hitting overhead lines.
Undergrounding Facebook Page
Click the link below to go the the Town's Undergrounding Facebook Page