COUNTY OF ALBEMARLE
Historic Crozet Streetscape Enhancement Project – Phase 2
Authorize the County Executive to sign the Dominion Power Agreement for the relocation of utility lines on Crozet Avenue
Messrs. Tucker, Foley, Davis, Letteri, and Kelsey
LEGAL REVIEW: Yes
April 2, 2008
ACTION: X INFORMATION:
The Historic Crozet Streetscape Enhancement project was envisioned by the Crozet Master Plan as an essential step in achieving the goals for Downtown Crozet, which includes:
The component of the Streetscape Enhancement Project that is key to the project sequencing is the removal of the overhead utility lines and poles from the Crozet Avenue corridor prior to the construction of the streetscape improvements.
Goal 1: Enhance the Quality of Life for all Albemarle County Residents.
Goal 3: Develop Policies and Infrastructure Improvements to Address the County’s Growing Needs
Both sides of Crozet Avenue are lined with utility poles with overhead wires running parallel and across the street corridor. These poles are also located within areas of proposed street improvements or sidewalks and will need to be buried underground or relocated to parallel streets. Early in the budget and feasibility process for the Streetscape Enhancement Project it was realized that placing Dominion Power’s “primary” overhead electric line underground was financially unfeasible. Relocation of this overhead line to a parallel street, which provided a significant cost savings, was the prudent option. Staff and Southeastern Consulting have worked with Dominion Power to develop a plan (Attachment A) to relocate the “primary” line east of Crozet Avenue. This plan begins by relocating the existing CSX Railroad overhead wire crossing to an existing pole near the entrance to the IGA on Route 240. The new “primary” line would then traverse Barnes Lumber and extend down High Street using the existing power poles. It will turn west at Tabor Street and follow the north side of Tabor Street to the existing “primary” line on Crozet Avenue (south of Jarmans Gap Road). New poles will be necessary along the north side of Tabor Street and a few trees removed, but this alignment will preserve the wooded area along the south side of the street. “Secondary” lines will be extended along existing poles to Carter Street (west side) and the southern end of the Alley (east side). From these locations, underground electric lines will be extended to serve the existing buildings.
Dominion Power requires that the County enter into an agreement to reimburse it for the actual cost of the relocation (Attachment B). The current cost estimate is $307,563.68. The County Attorney recommends that the proposed agreement be modified to specify that 1) the costs shall not exceed the estimate; 2) the reimbursable costs be itemized; and 3) no costs be incurred until all necessary easements have been obtained or the County otherwise directs Dominion Power to proceed.
Dominion Power is requesting that the County be responsible for securing all the easements that Dominion Power needs for the relocation. Dominion Power has provided the easement documents and staff has begun discussions with some of the property owners. The County is making a significant investment into enhancing and vitalizing this entry way into Downtown Crozet and the various stakeholders have been involved and supportive through the process. Staff is optimistic property owners will agree to grant the Dominion Power easements. If any property owners refuse to grant the easement, this Project will have to be reevaluated before it can proceed.
Dominion Power will coordinate the relocation of utilities with the other overhead utility owners (cable, telephone) within the Crozet Avenue corridor. Each utility company will estimate its cost to follow the Dominion Power relocation. Agreements for the County to reimburse relocation costs for each of these utility companies will also be required. These relocation agreements will be brought to the Board at a later date.
This project is being funded through the Capital Improvements Plan, with partial funding coming from a VDOT Transportation Enhancement Grant. A line item, budget code and budget estimate of $600,000 have been specifically assigned to this portion of the project.
Staff requests that the Board of Supervisor authorize the County Executive to sign the Dominion Power agreement for the relocation of utility lines on Crozet Avenue in a form approved by the County Attorney.
Attachment A: Overhead Utility Relocation Plan – January 2008
Attachment B: Dominion Power Letter & Agreement - 26 March 2008
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