Just like that, the Longboat Key Town Commission flipped the switch.
A month ago, five out of seven commissioners repeatedly rejected further discussion on a proposal to bury Florida Power & Light Co. power poles along Gulf of Mexico Drive at a cost of approximately $10 million.
But at the commission’s regular meeting Monday night at Town Hall, all seven commissioners unanimously agreed to allow town staff to spend up to $50,000 on a study to help solidify costs involved with burying power poles and lines, along with cable and telephone lines.
It will take three to five months to select a consultant and have the study completed for review. The study will provide all of the challenges and conceptual costs with an underground utility project along Gulf of Mexico Drive.
Once the commission has a grasp on the costs involved, the plan calls for town staff to prepare a referendum question before the town’s voters in March.
“Let’s put it to the voters for them to decide,” said Mayor Jim Brown. “We’ll prepare the facts and they get to make the decision.”
The cost to bury both power lines and other utilities along Gulf of Mexico Drive is estimated to cost anywhere from $10 million to $20 million.
For more information, pick up a copy of Wednesday's Longboat Observer.
Contact Kurt Schultheis at [email protected].