A downed tree on Underwood Street in the middle of Chevy Chase Thursday morning emphasized the importance of burying the town’s power lines, said John Bickerman, a council member.
“Burying the lines is not just a reliability issue; it’s a safety issue,” Bickerman said. “We’ve got live wires and leaking transformer boxes on Underwood.”
The night before, the town council decided not to move forward with hiring someone to advance that project just yet, opting instead to ask representatives from Pepco and from Montgomery County for a more accurate estimate of how much burying power lines would cost the town.
Earlier reports put the cost between $300,000 and $2.4 million per mile, a range so wide as to not be helpful, said Patricia Burda, the town’s mayor.
Nailing down the cost of the work may prove to be difficult, as estimates have fluctuated wildly over the past few years, even from Pepco itself.
The town has long discussed burying power lines. This year’s reported surplus of more than $8 million has spurred some on the council to move forward with the idea.
If experts can come in by early November, Burda said, then at the November town meeting, the council can decide whether to hire an expert to move forward with the project.