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November 8, 2018

York considers getting rid of overhead utility lines in village district

With the federal government picking up 80% of the $4 million tab of reconstructing several intersections and streets as part of the York Village revitalization project, town officials are thinking about piggybacking on that project a locally funded effort to eliminate some overhead power lines,

York officials have authorized spending $50,000 to study the feasibility of burying overhead power lines at the same time as the revitalization project.

Seacoastonline.com reported that although the cost of burying utilities wouldn't qualify for federal or state funding, town officials figure the revitalization project might offer the perfect opportunity to get rid of the overhead power lines in the heart of York Village.

"If we want to move forward with moving the utilities underground, we have to get rolling in that direction in order not to slow the project down," Public Works Director Dean Lessard said in the Seacoastonline.com story.

A 2017 analysis estimated the cost of burying utilities in the village at $3.6 million — which one selectman told Seacoastonline.com would be a "hard sell" to voters — but the newly authorized study will look at a smaller scale-project described as being "along the village green and in the heart of York Village."

Lessard said the smaller project being envisioned was scalable, and could be reduced or expanded based on the cost estimates that come in for burying the utility lines.

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