NY Taxpayers Pay $750,000 To Bury Power Lines So Wealthy Residents Can See The Ocean View

By Adam Andrzejewski for RealClearPolicy

The wealthy elite who drive along scenic Montauk Highway have been so bothered by overhead power lines blocking views of the horizon across the Atlantic Ocean that they recently convinced local officials to use $750,000 in taxpayer funds to bury the lines underground.

New York State grants and money from the tony East Hampton Town will fund the plan to remove 2,240 linear feet of lines along the highway and other neighboring streets that lead to Montauk, the scenic East End of Long Island, Newsday reported.

“Placing the utility lines underground will significantly enhance the scenic vista at the gateway to Montauk,” East Hampton Town Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc said.

The main benefit of putting wires underground is improved aesthetics for the drive into Montauk, dubbed “The End” for being the end of Long Island, and whose lighthouse is a tourist attraction.

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But the subterranean lines also result in fewer wind and lightning outages than overhead lines, according to PSEG, the energy company that owns the soon-to-be-relocated lines.

While regular tree trimmings aren’t required like for overhead wires, underground ones are susceptible to flooding and may take longer and be more expensive to repair, Newsday reported.

The moves comes after residents like John Keeshan have advocated for years to open the landscape at the entrance to Montauk’s downtown.

He describes a visit to Montauk as the New York version of a drive along California’s Pacific Coast Highway.

Keeshan, a real estate agent, represents clients selling pricey homes, including most recently a two-bedroom, one-bathroom for $1.85 million.

The Montauk median household income was $96,389 in 2019, compared to the $72,108 state-wide median income.

Who can’t appreciate scenic ocean views while driving to one of the most exclusive areas in New York? But state and local taxpayers shouldn’t be the ones to foot the bill.

Syndicated with permission from RealClearWire.


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