Longboat Key’s registered voters will decide March 15 whether to power up or cut the power to a $20.5 million neighborhood and side street power pole and utilities undergrounding project that would bury all utility lines and eliminate every power pole on the island.
The Longboat Key Town Commission voted 6-1 Monday night at its regular meeting to move forward with a plan that proposes property owners with existing underground utilities pay 18.5% of the total project and properties that need utilities buried pay for 81.5% of the project cost.
For example, a home with underground utilities on Longboat Club Road would pay a total cost of $513.35 for an annual additional cost of $31.85 over 30 years at a 4.5% interest rate. That cost, combined with interest over 30 years, totals $955.50.
But a home on St. Judes Drive with overhead utilities that need buried would pay a total cost of $8,495.44 for an annual additional cost of $527.04 over 30 years at a 4.5% interest rate. That cost, combined with interest over 30 years, totals $15,811.20.
The referendum question comes on the heels of a $25.25 million Gulf of Mexico Drive power line and utilities undergrounding project voters already approved in March. The average annual extra cost to taxpayers for the Gulf of Mexico Drive project is less than $3,000 over 30 years as part of their tax bill, or between $153 and $182 per year.
“If this is approved, there will not be any overhead wires left in the town of Longboat Key,” said Town Manager Dave Bullock.
Contact Kurt Schultheis at [email protected].