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UTILITY BOARD APPROVES RESOLUTION TO ASSIST IN THE PROTECTION OF ELECTRICAL LINES IN PINE CHANNEL

10/13/2005 ~ The Utility Board approved resolution #733, which urges local, state, and federal agencies to identify and implement measures to protect electrical lines in Pine Channel, and directed Keys Energy Services (KEYS) staff to send the resolution to those agencies that could be instrumental in assisting KEYS.

The 2005 hurricane season demonstrated how vulnerable the electrical facilities along US 1 Highway at Pine Channel are to sailboat masts. While this season has been particularly bad for outages caused by sailboat masts hitting electrical lines, incidents have also occurred in previous years that have disrupted the power flow within KEYS territory.

KEYS has investigated ways to prevent sailboat related outages in Pine Channel including installing bumpers and reconfiguring or raising the electric lines, but the ideas have proven infeasible or extremely costly. Since changing the facilities is not a viable option, KEYS is now looking for ways to prevent sailboat intrusions on the line.

KEYS has opened a dialogue with Monroe County regarding possible ways to prevent sailboats from hitting the electric lines. Ideas include an ordinance prohibiting sailboats in the basin, an ordinance limiting the height of sailboat masts in the basin, signage warning of the power lines, language on navigational charts, and /or installing a mooring field.

In other business, the Board:

- Appointed Don Way as the District Five (Big Pine Key to the Seven-Mile Bridge) representative of KEYS Advisory Committee.

The regular meeting of the Utility Board took place at 5:00 p.m., October 12, 2005, in the Louis Carbonell Board Room of the William Arnold Service Building, 1001 James Street, Key West.

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