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05/09/2012 ~ The Utility Board approved two contracts to accomplish the electric extension to No Name Key (NNK) at their regular meeting on Wednesday, May 9th. NNK is an island within Keys Energy Services’ (KEYS) service area that currently has no grid-tied electric power.

The contracts will cover the construction of the overhead electrical high voltage system and the installation of a bridge conduit system that will facilitate extending power from Big Pine Key to NNK. The No Name Key Property Owners Association (NNKPOA), representing a majority of the 43 homeowners on NNK, has reimbursed KEYS for all costs related to this line extension, including the two contracts awarded by the Utility Board. With these contracts in place, KEYS anticipates construction will commence the week of June 11th, and the homes of interested customers energized by mid-to-late August.

The contract for the overhead electrical high voltage system was awarded to Mount Airy, North Caroline-based Pike Electric, LLC at a cost of $69,074.02. This contract includes the installation of a single phase distribution system on NNK, including all labor and equipment. KEYS will provide the materials, including sixty-two 45-foot concrete poles, which were purchased using funds from the NNKPOA. The contract also includes the hand installation of silt screens at each pole site in addition to other environmental protective measures. The Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has advised that this project is not likely to adversely affect any species on the island and KEYS and its contractors have agreed to take the required precautions as outlined by the FWS.

The contract for the installation of the bridge conduit system was awarded to Hobe Sound, Florida-based Allcomm Networks, Inc. at a cost of $125,010.00. This contract includes the installation of two 4-inch UV protected fiberglass conduits and associated stainless steel hardware along the 2,250-foot length of the NNK bridge. The installation of this system is necessary to facilitate the construction of the overhead electrical high voltage system. This project will have no impact on the navigable waterways under the NNK bridge area or the surrounding environment, as all work will occur on the bridge.

On March 7, 2012, the Utility Board unanimously voted in favor of the line extension requested by the NNKPOA for the existing homes/lots of interested residents. Highlights of the line extension agreement included:

- Remitting payment of $648,752.55 at the time of executing the line extension agreement.

- Placing responsibility for litigation, permitting, construction overruns, construction delays and contractor mobilization on NNKPOA.

- Requiring NNKPOA to provide for an on-site biologist to oversee initial construction.

- Placing responsibility for deconstruction costs on NNKPOA if the project is stopped.

- Allowing for homes that do not initially participate in the Line Extension Agreement to connect and pay a portion of the total costs back to NNKPOA (less 15-percent administrative costs for KEYS).

- Having NNKPOA develop an appropriate tree trimming training program to address the “Stock Island Tree Snail and Garber’s Spurge Impact Avoidance Procedures Plan.”

- Acknowledging that parts of No Name Key are within the Coastal Barrier Resources Act and requiring a $50,000 escrow account held by
KEYS to cover repairs to the system that are typically covered by the
Federal Emergency Management Administration.

- Establishing that each customer, prior to signing up for service, must file a “Notice and Agreement Regarding Provision of Electric Service to No Name Key” as public record with Monroe County.

The regular meeting of the Utility Board took place at 5:00 p.m., Wednesday, May 9th, in the Louis Carbonell Board Room of the William Arnold Service Building, at 1001 James Street, Key West.

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