Pasadena Underground Utilities Program Fund Holds Steady at $38 Million, Reports Pasadena Water and Power – Pasadena Now

[Image courtesy of City of Pasadena]

Pasadena Water and Power on Tuesday provided updates on the Pasadena Underground Utilities Program, a 400-year ongoing project to move thousands of miles of power lines underground.

Shari Thomas, deputy chief executive of PWP, said the projected utility underground fund balance in June 2022 was around $37.8 million.

“In fact, during the fiscal year, we collected roughly the same amount as was spent on the utility underground program, so the net balance does not change significantly,” Thomas said.

The city’s underground surcharge fund is made up of fees charged to customers to support the construction of underground utility lines.

The underground surcharge, which is about 4% of a typical bill, would generate about $5.5 million a year, enough revenue to fund the burial of about half a mile of existing overhead power lines a year, said declared PWP in a previous report.

In 2020, to provide economic relief to some residents struggling with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, City Council approved the plan to provide PWP’s estimated 67,500 customers, as well as eligible former customers, a total of $11.4 million in city underground surcharge rebates. funds.

Additionally, the city council also suspended underground surcharge fees for six months, keeping an estimated $2 million in customers’ pockets.

Also at the meeting, the PWP reported on the status of established underground utility districts (UDDs), including Raymond Avenue and Mountain Street.

Raymond Avenue UDD is a 2 mile neighborhood that covers Maple Street to North City. With a budget of $25 million, a total of 61 poles and 247 packages are expected to be buried underground at the site.

The 0.62 mile UDD of Mountain Street, with an estimated budget of
$10 million will move 30 poles and 58 plots underground. The neighborhood stretches from Lake Avenue to Hill Avenue.

Construction in the two areas of the district has not yet started. According to PWP, utility burying at Raymond Avenue and Mountain Street will begin in fiscal year 2023.

Construction of Raymond Avenue UDD is expected to be completed in fiscal year 2027, while construction of Mountain Street UDD is expected to be completed by fiscal year 2026.

During the meeting, PWP also proposed the creation of a new UDD, which is UDD Florecita, to mitigate the potential wildfire risk associated with overhead power lines.

A budget of $1.5 million is proposed for the burial of utilities in the proposed 0.17 mile Florecita UDD, which covers 7 poles and 17 parcels.

The Underground Utilities Program was started in 1968 to beautify Pasadena by restoring scenic mountain views overlooking the city and to reduce power outages.

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Bonny J. Streater