Sometimes, the very basic and essential benefits of an issue can wind up being overlooked. That usually happens when there are so many plus-and-minus discussions surrounding a subject that common sense thinking becomes clouded.
Take undergrounding, for instance. It’s been a hot topic that’s riled Palm Beach property owners on both the yea and nay sides of the subject for weeks.
With the vote for which side will prevail only days away, below are four reasons why undergrounding makes perfect Palm Beach sense:
1. Services will be improved.
It’s not only electric lines that will be going undergrounded, but cable and phone lines too. As a result, once undergrounding is in place residents can expect all of their power-related services to be vastly improved. That includes better TV and cell phone service.
Undergrounding means an ENTIRE NEW SYSTEM, replacing everything for the most reliable utility grid with state-of-the-art technology.
2. Old World and high-tech lighting.
Visually, it’s a natural fit for the streets of Palm Beach to be lined with light fixtures in tune with the town’s aesthetics. And that will happen with undergrounding. Instead of seeing old tried wooden utility polls dotting streets, visitors and residents will see lovely Old World charm light fixtures that are both attractive and high tech. Inside each post, where there is weak cellular coverage, an additional cell antenna will be hidden inside – all to improve cellular coverage in that area.
3. Capital gains savings.
Property owners understand that any major improvements made to their homes can translate to a reduction in the amount of capital gains tax due when they decide to sell their property. So while painting room or adding new carpeting isn’t considered a major home improvement, the cost incurred by each property owner for undergrounding is.
As a reminder, undergrounding costs may be paid in full or spread out over years. In either event, the expense incurred will influence the amount of capital gains due when your home is sold. Consult your accountant for the particulars.
4. There’s a catch if undergrounding doesn’t happen.
Voting for undergrounding means providing improved utility services throughout the island in an aesthetically pleasing fashion. Not voting for undergrounding means power would come from taller, larger and more unsightly “hardened” polls.
But there’s a catch: FPL’s “hardened” polls won’t replace all existing wooden power polls throughout town, only those on selected streets.
A few of the streets FPL will be replacing existing utility polls on include Royal Palm Way, Main Street, North Ocean Boulevard, Sunrise Avenue, and Golfview Road. Live on side streets or those not included in the plan to harden polls and the FPL power coming into your residence isn’t likely to be improved over what it is today, and since it’s an old power grid, it will likely degrade in the near future.
To find a list of the streets where existing poles will be hardened can be found at www.undergroundpalmbeach.com.