Town of Palm Beach Shores

Last Chance: Referendum Workshops

March 8, 2017

Last Chance: Referendum Workshops
 
Election Day is Tuesday, March 14.  It is extremely important that Palm Beach Shores’ voters take the time to vote.  There is Early Voting at any Elections office before Election Day.  
 
There are 5 referendum questions on the ballot that will determine the future of our beloved Town. 
 
In particular, Question 1 is requesting authorization from the voters to get the funds necessary to finance the Underground Utility project.  Without voter approval, the project may not be able to go forward.
 
The other 4 Questions refer to updating the Town Charter which sets our government structure, election process and responsibilities. 
 
To learn about all 5 referendums, please come to one of our last 2 Workshops:
 

Thursday, March 9
 Community Center
90 Edwards Lane
 

Noon with Pizza
6:00 PM with Wine and Cheese

 
The Mayor, Town Attorney and the Town's Undergrounding Engineer will be available to give you an overview and answer your questions. 
 

Here is a refresher on the key points
on the Undergrounding Project Referendum:

 

  •         If the voters vote “For Bonds,” the Town can get a loan to pay for the undergrounding project.  We will repay the loan primarily with a tax on utility usage.  Any gap will be paid with other funds including property taxes. 

 

  •         Why are we voting on this now?  Interest rates are near historic lows helping to reduce financing costs.  FPL will underwrite 25% of the project cost. 

 

  •         If the undergrounding does not proceed, FPL will install large, hardened poles.  Go to the corner of Atlantic/Blossom or to Park Avenue, north of the Fountain, to see hardened poles.

 

  •         The Estimated Project Cost is $4.3 Million.  The referendum question is for approval UP TO $5.5 million as contingency.  Just as in a house remodel, the Town has to plan for the unexpected.  The Town will only borrow the actual project cost.

 

  •         Resident Oversight Committee:  Resident volunteers will help negotiate the best loan terms.  If you’d like to volunteer, call Town Hall.

 

  •         How Much Will This Cost Me?  The approved 10% utility tax on your electric, water, and gas bills will pay for most of the project cost.  No assessment.  If there is a shortfall, other Town funds and property taxes will make up the difference.  This may or may not require a small property tax increase, depending on available funds. 

 

  •         Everyone Pays According To What They Use.  A tax on utilities means each of us pays based on how much we use the system.  Everyone using the system will pay, including renters. 

 

  •         Will this eliminate power outages? We have had multiple power outages already this year and 2 major transformer fires.  These often are the result of trees hitting overhead wiring in our breezy climate.  These types of power outages will be dramatically reduced.  While there may still be a risk from storm surges, it is less than that caused by damage to above-ground wires and transformers.

 

  •         Are there other considerations?  The construction itself will last less than a year and will be an inconvenience when work is in your area.  The transformers will be placed along the streets on the property lines between the homes.   And the Town will be in debt for the next 10-15 years.  

 

  •         Is This the Final Step to Project Approval?  No, after referendum approval, the Commission will begin the process to obtain financing.  There will be at least 2 more Commission approvals before the loan is finalized. 

 
Where Can I Get More Information?  

 

© 2017 Town of Palm Beach Shores • 247 Edwards Lane, • Palm Beach Shores, FL • (561) 844-3457 • Legal Disclaimer
s