Written by MICHAEL LoCICERO
Wednesday, 10 September 2014 20:35
Village awaiting estimates before committing to installing underground service along Main Street
The Village of Belgium is one step closer to burying its utility lines on Main Street, after trustees voted Monday to allow the three utilities in the village to provide cost estimates for the work.
In August, the Public Works Committee recommended the lines be buried for “safety, reliability and aesthetic concerns,” committee chairman Clem Gottsacker said.
Trustee Vickie Boehnlein said Monday that the village needed to make sure it wouldn’t spend too much on burying the lines.
“We need some sort of financial contingency in here,” Boehnlein said. “This could run us into numbers that we can’t afford.”
Initial cost estimates for burying the lines from We Energies, Time Warner
Cable and Frontier Internet are expected to be somewhere in the $1.2 million to $1.3 million range, Director of Public Works Danny Birenbaum said.
But the utilities needed the village’s approval to move forward with its surveying to provide a more accurate number.
The village’s engineer for the Main Street project, Gremmer & Associates, is expected to have a cost estimate for burying the lines by November, Village President Rich Howells said last month.
Gremmer will then forward its results to the three utilities, who will complete their own assessment by mid-2015, Howells said.
If cost estimates come back too high, the village can decide not to bury the lines, Gottsacker said.
A portion of the $4.2 million the village and Ozaukee County received from a state Surface Transportation Program Rural grant could be used for part of the cost to bury the utilities.
“The utilities just need a go-ahead to start their engineering,” Howells said. “This isn’t an approval to burying the utility lines at this point. We have to see what the cost will be.”