Officials to Discuss Placing Utilities Underground

Most residents in Manhattan Beach would probably say that they want hulking utility poles and wires on the streets placed underground, but city officials say the question people need to ask is how much they are willing to pay to have it done.

The city will hold a public hearing Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at the Manhattan Heights Annex Building, 1560 Manhattan Beach Blvd., to discuss moving the city's utilities underground. In recent years, most developers have put the utilities underground but they are still overhead in 70% of the city.

City officials are planning to move the utilities on Sepulveda Boulevard underground as part of a $1-million project to revitalize the commercial area. Officials said they want to get a sense of how residents feel about burying utilities in neighborhoods.

"This is something that would be completely up to the taxpayers," said Richard Thompson, community development director. "In some areas, residents are willing to pay for it, in others they're not. We're trying to figure out where the support and interest is coming from."

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