Residents weigh in on possible routes for electric transmission line

LOGANSPORT, Ind. (WLFI) – Residents are getting the chance to voice their opinions on a 70-mile electric transmission line from Greentown in Howard County to Reynolds in White County. Planners with the Greentown-Reynolds Electric System Improvement Project are looking to select a final route — one that creates the least amount of disruption.

“Our infrastructure’s falling apart here in the United States and anything we can do with today’s dollars to rebuild that infrastructure is a good thing,” said Tom Bradfield, a hog farmer in Cass County.

“Point the person out that doesn’t use electricity, hardly around here, so you’re going to have to keep the grid up,” said Kevin Harness, a property owner in Carroll County.

Property owners at Tuesday’s open house for the Greentown-Reynolds Electric System Improvement Project understand the need for the project, but they are still concerned the line will run right through their property.

“You know, if they went through us, we just want to know how much we can get for the inconvenience,” said Harness.

“It’s going to be a big handicap to us because we have to work around these big towers, especially the ones that go through us are on an angle, so it really messes up a farm,” said Charlie Wilson, a farmer in Cass County.

But these concerns are what developers want to hear. The 70-mile line will run from Greentown to Reynolds. It’s a joint effort between NIPSCO and Pioneer Transmission, a joint venture of Duke Energy and American Electric Power. NIPSCO officials said the project team is trying to pinpoint the least disruptive route.

“The biggest thing people are interested in obviously is, where is the final route going to go. But, there’s questions over what’s this going to do to my property value. We’ve got representatives from the farming community wanting to know how is this going to impact my irrigation system that I just put in. So, a lot of good questions, things that we would expect to see,” said Nick Meyer, director of communications.

Meyer said this project is part of a larger plan throughout the Midwest to modernize the infrastructure. The Greentown-Reynolds project is one of two major projects in Indiana. The other will run from Reynolds to Topeka in northeast Indiana.

“Ultimately, it’s going to help make sure that we have safe, reliable energy for both now and in the future,” said Meyer.

A final route will be selected in June or July, according to Meyer. Construction is slated to begin in early 2016. The line should be up and running in early 2018.

There are two more open houses this week. On Wednesday, there will be one in Delphi at the Canal Center from 3-7 p.m. On Thursday, there will be one in Monticello at the Best Western Plus Brandywine Inn & Suites from 3-7 p.m.

For more information on the Greentown-Reynolds Electric System Improvement Project, click here.

For more information on the Reynolds Topeka Electric System Improvement Project, click here.

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