How could we fund this type of project?

There are a variety of options for funding an infrastructure project like this, but we believe a Utilities User Tax may be most appropriate.

In 2004 our committee conducted a town-wide survey (performed by Godbe Research) and found that 40% of the town would support undergrounding at the $52M price tag, funded by a 40 year bond. 

Since then we learned undergrounding could also be funded from a Utilities User Tax (UUT), a flat tax on local utility bills administered by the utilities. The UUT might prove advantageous over other funding methods since those who use the utilities the most (big energy, cable & phone bills) would pay more, and there are exclusions for low income residents. In our Godbe survey we found the highest opposition was from longer-term residents -- many of whom have low bills -- while the broadest support came from newer residents. Given the estimated cost above and our understanding of utility revenues we believe a 7.5% UUT could pay for town undergrounding in as little as 15 years. (For comparison, Palo Alto is 50 years into their undergrounding project, and has many years to go.)

Show All Answers

1. What are we talking about?
2. What is the scope of the project?
3. What experience do we have with undergrounding?
4. What are 20A" funds?
5. What data do we have on the cost of undergrounding?
6. What would a town-wide undergrounding project cost?
7. How could we fund this type of project?
8. Does undergrounding improve safety and reliability?
9. Does undergrounding improve property values?