Beaufort City Council considers special utility fee - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Beaufort City Council considers special utility fee

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Tuesday night, Beaufort City Council is holding a special meeting to decide whether to tack on a two percent special fee for SCE&G customers in order to offset the cost of burying power lines underground.

The utility project would only affect Boundary Street and the work would extend down towards the McDonald's near Neil Road.

The Boundary Street project itself has been going on for almost a decade. It's an intensive project designed to beautify the city as people drive into it.

The project is being funded from three different sources—the 2006 countywide capital sales tax, city reserve funds and a $12.5 million grant from the Federal Highway Administration.

About $3 million dollars involves building a "duct bank" which is an underground cavity to hold all of the electric, cable and telephone wires.

The city is considering a two percent fee for seven years to pay for it, which would show up on SCE&G customer bills.

Mayor Billy Keyserling said he's disappointed by the last minute timing of this project and feels SCE&G should have to bury their own wires.

"It's not a sweet pill to swallow, the first offer was to have 160 people who were on the boundary street corridor to pay seven percent for 10 years but we felt spreading it out across the city because it's important for the whole city that two percent over seven years was a more fair way to do it," Keyserling said.

He said they have already selected a contractor and the deadline for this project is next week .

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