The City Council voted Tuesday night to begin forming the city's first underground-utility district in a 24-block neighborhood in the southern part of the city.
The proposed assessment district, which is intended to serve as a demonstration project, is bounded by The Strand, 8th Street, Bayview Drive and 1st Street.
The council agreed to begin the legal process of forming an assessment district after reviewing a report from an ad hoc committee on placing utilities underground. About 63% of the property owners in the proposed district signed petitions favoring the district, the report said.
City officials estimate that undergrounding utilities in the proposed district will cost about $800,000, most of which will be paid by the property owners in the district.