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Split Cottage Grove City Council approves electrical undergrounding project

Despite being torn on the idea of spending more than $166,000 to bury a handful of electrical poles underground, the Cottage Grove City Council voted 3-2 last month to move the project forward.

Council members Derrick Lehrke and Dave Thiede cast the dissenting votes on May 15.

The project consists of undergrounding electrical poles at the construction sites on East Point Douglas Road from Menards to the Walmart site and 70th Street from Joliet Avenue to Highway 19.

To coincide with the development along East Point Douglas Road, 13 Xcel Energy power poles will be removed and approximately 2,700 feet of undergrounding wire will be installed. Three load breakers will also be installed. The cost of this project is roughly $117,500.

The 70th Street undergrounding project will relocate poles from Joliet Avenue to the north, along 70th Street to the east side of Highway 19. The project would terminate just north of the intersection where the roundabout is proposed. The cost of the section of undergrounding is roughly $48,600.

Lehrke has been hesitant since the council first discussed the issue and echoed the Public Works Commission's recommendation, which was to forego the project.

"I see this as a different project than what was proposed," Lehrke said. "What we're doing is the city of Cottage Grove is going to pay for two brand new communities and neighboring areas to have undergrounding. There will still be power lines up. So, we're spending money (to relocate) a few poles that are on a street (and) that you can't even see."