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Town of Palm Beach Goes Underground

The results of Tuesday’s vote on the undergrounding bond referendum are in, with the majority voting in favor of bonds.

With the numbers almost tied, 50.72% (2,174 residents) for and 49.28% (2,113 residents) against the bonds, Town Clerk Susan Owens does not expect a recount of the votes. “The split between the two votes has to be half of one percent or less to trigger a recount,” Owens stated. “The split was 1.4 percent so there will not be a recount unless there are any major changes.”

Councilwoman Danielle Moore has also commented on the controversial results with a Facebook post stating:

“By definition, an election leaves some voters celebrating and others disappointed.  But the important thing is, all of us had the opportunity to express our opinion –  in public forums, in letters to the editor, to our friends and neighbors, and,  ultimately, at the ballot box.”

The bond in question is $90 million to finance the burial of all utility lines in Palm Beach which will help the town meet all the new state mandates that require FPL to “harden” all critical facilities. In plain English, the mandates required larger concrete power poles, which would last longer and be generally safer, to replace the outdated ones in town now.

Town of Palm Beach Goes Underground

By undergrounding, Palm Beach will meet these mandates as well as make the town more aesthetically pleasing, getting rid of those large poles and wires altogether. Some other benefits of undergrounding include better reliability and fewer outages, especially due to weather or tree limbs.

The average cost of this project per homeowner will be around $2.68 a day ($978 per year) for a single family home and $0.98 a day ($356 per year) for a condo. You can use the cost search tool ( to get a better annual assessment of the cost for your home. These assessments are expected to be in effect for 30 years.

When asked for a comment regarding any further obstacles they are expected to face during the project’s completion, a spokesperson for Underground said “Our committed approach to implementing the underground conversion project is to minimize the impact upon residents and motorists.” They added “However, there will be moments of coordinated interruptions in areas that we will be working, but this will be clearly communicated well ahead of time.  We expect the final design and phasing plans to be completed in the next year with the first phase of construction to begin in the summer of 2017.”

The project will move ahead once the voting results become official which, according to Elections Supervisor Susan Bucher, will be on March 21.

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Jonathan enjoys covering local events and occurrences. His writings encompass a wide range of topics from news to entertainment, oftentimes mixing business with pleasure.

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