Undergrounding utilities ranks as our top priority. It provides opportunity to increase safety, improve network reliability, enhance aesthetics, and increase property values. It also serves as a springboard to other possible enhancements along Dana Shores Drive, including better lighting, surveillance, palms at entryways, and more.
- Negotiate rates/discounts homeowners may leverage for electrical work between the right-of-way and their homes. (UNDERWAY)
- Help get relevant information in homeowners’ hands during the construction effort. (READ HERE and watch for articles in the Shore Lines)
- Pursue grant opportunities to fabricate and install growing poles or other landscape features along Doral Drive.
- Work with Verizon and commercial property owners to encourage removal of remaining overhead equipment near Sweetwater Cove Apartments and the Rocky Point Golf Course clubhouse.
Completed Items — Community Highlights
- Negotiated with Bright House, Verizon, City of Tampa, and Hillsborough County to underground cable and fiber optic lines, remove many miles of old telephone lines, and remove traffic signalization lines. Our research suggests this provided an estimated cost savings of roughly 75% off the cost of undergrounding.
- Developed broad community perspective and understanding for undergrounding TECO power lines, which has allowed the majority of homeowners in Dana Shores and Pelican Island to coalesce around a shared vision.
- Instilled temporary measures with TECO to protect oaks along Dana Shores Drive from significant disfigurement that would otherwise result from their clearing the upper limbs of these trees away from aerial power lines. This provides us time to underground our utilities, and it was done with the knowledge that once a tree is severely pruned, the damage cannot be undone.
Partnered with the Hillsborough County Attorney’s Office, the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners, and TECO to develop a landmark county-wide ordinance. Using a two-phase petition process, this ordinance offers neighborhoods a method of financing the upfront engineering work and offers homeowners long-term financing options for undergrounding.This item, though it may seem small, is a huge item for us, probably one of the most important things we’ve done since I’ve been here on the Commission… This is going to create momentum throughout the county. ~ Commissioner Sandy Murman, Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners (Jan. 21, 2016)
- Achieved 83.7% favorable support for the initial petition from Dana Shores and Pelican Island homeowners, well exceeding the required 67%. A budget resolution was subsequently carried with a vote of 7-0 by the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners to provide upfront funding in accordance with the undergrounding ordinance needed to support the next phase of our initiative, which involves detailed engineering work, cost estimating, and other planning work required to underground the utilities.
- Worked with Taylor Morrison to align our visions, which led to their decision to underground power between Pelican Island and Sweetwater Cove Apartments assuming we move forward with our work to underground our area.
- Worked with Hillsborough County attorneys to add protections against overhead and small wireless facilities being added to areas that implement the above referenced undergrounding ordinance.
- Passed the street lighting petition, which will allow us to replace existing light poles with decorative LED lights as streets convert to underground power.
- Taylor Morrison underground their utilities.
- Achieved 80.4% favorable support for the second and final petition from Dana Shores and Pelican Island homeowners, well exceeding the required 75%. Resolutions were subsequently carried with a vote of 7-0 by the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners to approve funding up to $2.6M to underground the utilities. Check out the public hearing from 2/6/19 here: https://vimeo.com/316424042