REDINGTON BEACH – For the first time since 2010, positions on the Town Commission will be contested in the March 13 election.

Laura Barnett, a relative newcomer to Redington Beach, has filed as a candidate for one of the two expiring seats. She will be joined on the ballot by incumbents Tom Dorgan and Dave Will, who are seeking re-election.

Barnett, who has no experience in civic activism, said she decided to seek a commission seat “to be more involved in the community and I thought I could add a new viewpoint, a little perspective.”

She hoped that with her prospective involvement she can “get more of the younger community that’s moving into Redington Beach involved.”

Barnett previously lived in the Washington, D.C., area and worked for the U.S. Department of Energy. She holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and a master’s in business administration. She and her husband Matthew have four children, ages 6, 5, 3, and 6 months.

Tom Dorgan and Dave Will were the winners of the contested 2010 election.

In commission business Jan. 3, the long-awaited undergrounding of utility lines along Gulf Boulevard is on the verge of becoming a reality, the project’s top engineer reported.

Commissioners began discussions on burying power and communications line on the east side of Gulf Boulevard in early 2016.

In an update to the commission, Steve Tarte, a principal with engineering firm of CPWG, said his firm was “two weeks from submitting” permits to begin the work to the Florida Department of Transportation.

Tarte anticipated FDOT would take 60 to 90 days to issue the permits. He expected the first stages of construction would begin “first of summer.” Work should be completed by early 2019, he added.