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Scenic St. Petersburg

An Affiliate of Scenic Florida


The Skyway Marina District is taking the lead on a long-term project to bury power lines throughout the city.  Undergrounding utilities will make the community look much nicer and it reduces the time to restore power in the event of a hurricane.  Many communities throughout the country are considering just such projects; St. Petersburg can and should be a leader.  Yes, burying all lines city-wide is a long-term effort, but if we don't start now then when will we?

How do we pay for this?  The Penny for Pinellas is a local option - an extra penny of sales tax that has to be voted on every ten years.  By state law the only permissible expenses for this funding source is infrastructure.  The Penny will be on the ballot this year and if approved will be available for use in years 2020 through 2030.

The cost to bury all the power lines (and remove the power poles) along 34th St S in the Skyway Marina District is approximately $7 million.  This amount is in the plan that was presented to City Council during a Committee of the Whole meeting on Thursday, May 18th.  Several council members mentioned this item as something they would like to discuss further and pointed out that it was quite a large sum of funds for burying power lines.  So, it is important that residents of St. Petersburg who support this investment let Council members know. 

Is seven million dollars a large sum of money?  It most certainly is….However, other larger expenditures have often been made in City Council districts.  For example, the Edge District plan, which is on Central Avenue from 9th Street to 16th Street has twenty million dollars’ worth of projects written into their plan.

Learn what other cities' success with undergrounding, and find out how to dispel the "anti-undergrounding" rhetoric that the energy companies promulgate:

Undergrounding Presentation by Jerry Warren, Winter Haven Florida
Undergrounding Video, Winter Haven Florida
FPL's pilot project to underground power lines in their service area