Power pole debate arises, goes dark again


Power pole debate arises, goes dark again


Date: June 16, 2014
by: Kurt Schultheis | Managing Editor


Longboat Key Revitlization Task Force Chairman George Spoll and Vice Chairman Tom Freiwald urged the Longboat Key Town Commission to reconsider a costly option to bury Longboat Key’s power poles.

Both Key residents urged the commission to consider burying the power poles along Gulf of Mexico Drive or finding more aesthetically pleasing poles.

The comments led the discussion to hold a half-hour discussion on the debate once again. 

It’s estimated it would cost $10 million to bury the power lines along Gulf of Mexico Drive. It would cost $21 million to bury all the remaining overhead power lines Key-wide.

Mayor Jim Brown, frustrated with another discussion on the topic, noted it's the third time the commission has discussed the topic in a month's time.

Brown called for another show of hands to see if there was support to discuss the item further. 

Only Commissioners Lynn Larson and Pat Zunz raised their hands to support more discussion.

Commissioner Terry Gans and the rest of the commission support underground poles, but believe the town can't spend that kind of money right now. 

"We have competing claims on our resources," Gans said. "At the end of the day, it’s a big, big price tag."

Brown expressed optimism with the decision.

"I hope that's the end of this, but you just never know," Brown said. 

Also at today's meeting, which began at 1 p.m. at Town Hall, commissioners will discuss a proposal for Sarasota County to provide dispatch services for the Key and review a controversial telecommunications ordinance that deletes references to cellular towers being allowed on the island.

For more information on today's meeting, pick up a copy of Wednesday's Longboat Observer.

Contact Kurt Schultheis at kschultheis@yourobserver.com



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