What a difference an undergrounding utilities educational forum makes.
A Country Club Shores forum held Tuesday afternoon at Longboat Key Town Hall attracted a standing-room only crowd of Country Club Shores residents that showed their unanimous support of a $25.2 million Gulf of Mexico Drive undergrounding project.
A meeting held the previous week attracted just 15 people and four of those in attendance at that Sept. 28 meeting expressed concern with voting in favor of the GMD project on Nov. 3 until they know more information about a $20.5 million neighborhood referendum question and how that future project will be funded.
The commission directed staff to put that question and project on hold until the GMD referendum is held.
Assistant Town Manager Anne Ross and Town Manager Dave Bullock were able to go through their entire presentation without interruption. A week ago, the presentation was interrupted constantly with questions about the neighborhood referendum that couldn’t be discussed.
“I was incredibly pleased and our neighborhood is very supportive,” said Country Club Shores resident and undergrounding utilities supporter Bob Gault.
Gault explained that whether the GMD referendum passes or not, all five sections of Country Club Shores plans to bury power lines in their residential neighborhood.
“Under a worst case scenario, we want Country Club Shores designated as a special assessment district and will have a referendum to get these old 1960s poles and wires undergrounded,” Gault said. “It’s critical to make us competitive and it’s clearly a benefit for us in terms of the real estate market.”
Gault said Country Club Shores is in the process “of getting money approved” to contract with the town’s undergrounding consultant to get detailed information on what it would cost for each Country Club Shores property owner to bury the wires.
“We’re ready to get it done,” Gault said.
Contact Kurt Schultheis at [email protected].