The Undergrounding Project Team indicated they needed more time before presenting a master plan to the Task Force. The Project Team indicated the following:
- Two pending lawsuits filed by Town residents are stalling the financing of the undergrounding project. Until the lawsuits are settled, the Town cannot access General Obligation Bond funds. Interest rates have risen slightly, but still less than what was estimated in March 2016.
- The Easement acquisition process is still ongoing and not all easements for Phase 1 have been secured yet to move forward with construction.
- Additional revenue opportunities exist through the leasing of broadband infrastructure to utility companies or partnering with a new provider. These revenues could offset costs of undergrounding.
- The Town needs to determine if they can legally pursue the “Best Value” method of CMAR.
- Discussions are still occurring between the Town and utilities to reduce infrastructure costs through the value engineering process.
The master plan, as it stands today, is incomplete and shows a higher than expected cost due to the missing information regarding revenue opportunities, cost reduction measures and lawsuit delays.