Assessment District Myths and Facts

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Formation and Costs
Myth: The undergrounding of utilities is a City driven project.
Fact: The assessment districts for the undergrounding of utilities are property owner driven projects.  The City acts as a liaison between the utility companies and property owners
Myth: Rule 20A money can be applied anywhere in the City.
Fact: Generally, Rule 20A money can be applied to major thoroughfares only.
Myth: Everything is included in the assessment costs.
Fact: The assessment covers the district formation and construction costs to underground the utility lines.  Property owners are responsible for hiring and paying a contractor to connect their property's utilities to the underground system.
Myth: The City is not assessed for any City owned parcels.
Fact: City property is assessed based on the same assessment methodology as other properties within the assessment district.
Myth: The City withholds information from property owners.
Fact: The City makes every effort in being transparent about the assessment process and welcomes any calls or inquiries.  For the latest information, sign up to receive email updates by clicking here.
Myth: I still have to pay the assessment if I sell my property.
Fact: The City does not require the assessment to be paid off when a property is sold; however, the buyer may make the request.


Myth: I will not have access to my property during construction.
Fact: Construction for a typically sized district takes 6-8 months, but the work area generally shifts each week.  Access during working hours will be limited, but is reopened at the end of each work day.
Myth: If the contractor / construction causes damage to my private property, it will not be repaired.
Fact: The contractor is responsible for repairing all damages done during construction.  Should any damage occur, please notify the project engineer or inspector.
Myth: The City has an approved list of electrical contractors to perform the private conversion.
Fact: The City's website provides a list of electrical contractors who have valid City Business Licenses to conduct business within the City, but does not maintain a list of prequalified or approved contractors.
Myth: A select few electrical contractors make arrangements with the City to perform private conversions prior to properties being released for conversion.
Fact: Private conversion should not be started prior to written notification from the City, issuance of a building permit, and pre-inspection from the building inspector.
Myth: My service panel will have to be replaced or upgraded.
Fact: Service panel replacements are required if the existing panel is not compatible with the new underground system.
Myth: The electrical conversion process will disrupt electrical service to my property for a long period of time.
Fact: The service conversion or "cut-over" to the underground system takes approximately 10-20 minutes to complete.  Electrical service is restored after completion of the cut-over.


Service Reliability
Myth: An underground system is less reliable.
Fact: Southern California Edison, AT&T, and Time Warner Cable make every effort to ensure service is reliable to all properties.

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