The Coastal Star

Gulf Stream sends message with half payment to FPL

GULF STREAM — Town commissioners backed a consortium’s efforts to push Florida Power & Light to bury power lines, but voted to “send a message” to the group by only paying half of a required contribution.

Commissioners voiced concern at their meeting on March 13 that Gulf Stream’s payment is disproportionate to other members’ payments to the Municipal Underground Utilities Consortium, a group of Florida municipalities. Gulf Stream will send about $770 instead of the $1,543 required. The contribution for larger cities is capped at $12,000. Commissioner Chris Wheeler argued that the smaller, wealthier town of Gulf Stream is subsidizing the bigger cities.

The group didn’t change its stance upon learning from Town Manager William Thrasher that Robert Ganger, president of Gulf Stream Civic Association, had earlier offered to pay the fee if the commissioners didn’t want to. Commissioners welcomed the offer, and said the association was free to do what it wished separately from the commission’s vote. Ganger later confirmed that the civic association paid the balance of the fee. “We need to resolve once and for all if this is a good idea or bad. And if we can help, we’re delighted to do so,” he said.

“I’m not even sure what we’re going to get for our money. But symbolically, we want to let the members know we’re listening, we care and we’re going to take some action.”

Separately, the Gulf Stream Commission declined to adopt an ordinance to prohibit people from leading pets while riding in golf carts.

– Margie Plunkett

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