Residents in northeastern Southampton Town have a unique opportunity before them: the chance to establish a special taxing district for the purpose of burying overhead power lines at what appears to be a fairly reasonable cost, about $11 a year for properties assessed at $500,000 and $200 a year for those assessed at $10 million.
Along with the obvious benefit of improved views along the waterfront would be the tangible concept of storm-hardening the power grid, but not the kind of storm-hardening that came recently in the form of taller poles erected along Route 114 in North Haven. Faced with that as an alternative, burying the lines is more than attractive. It’s nearly a no-brainer.
What is also encouraging to see is a community-minded, YIMBY-type approach — meaning “yes in my backyard” — where, in the past, NIMBY attitudes might have dominated the conversation. We’re referring to the 20 Cliff Drive residents in Bay Point who, aware of the many benefits, have stepped up to pitch in $200,000 of their own money to offset the estimated $1.745 million it will cost to bury the lines.
While it remains to be seen how homeowners in North Haven, Bay Point and parts of Noyac will feel about the proposal for a special taxing district, we feel it’s a worthwhile proposal that deserves public support, or at the very minimum a robust discussion before anyone makes up his or her mind on the issue.