Next month, the residents of Palm Beach will vote on a referendum to determine whether the Town Council will be able to move forward with a project to relocate all the town’s power, cable, and telephone lines underground.
With projects like these, it is often tempting for residents to focus on the increased costs they’ll have to pay to fund the project. The cost of funding the initiative has been estimated at about $90 million, and the Town Council has proposed an assessment plan in which each homeowner will pay an annual assessment based on the benefit they receive from underground power lines.
The average annual assessment for a single-family homeowner will be about $937, while condominium owners will pay an average of $321 per year. These amounts might be intimidating for some residents, but they would be well advised to look at the bigger picture.
Towns with undergrounded power lines don’t have to worry about unsightly power lines along their streets. Once the lines have been buried, landscaping and repairs will make the ground above the lines as good as new. Any roads that lie above undergrounded power lines will be in as good as or better condition than they were before the project started.
All the costs of landscaping and repairing after the lines have been buried has already been included in the estimate of the project, so residents won’t have to worry about surprise charges after construction has ended.
Neighborhoods with undergrounded power lines are also safer than areas with above ground power lines because they don’t have to worry about live wires getting blown or knocked over and lying on the ground where they pose a danger to residents. Any issues with power lines will happen underground and well out of the way of all residents.