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Commissioners hear concerns from landowners

Nine landowners concerned about OG&E putting transmission lines in bar ditches along their land voiced complaints to the Woodward County Commission Monday, saying the county needed to hold the energy company accountable. ...According to another land owner, concrete bases 20 feet deep are being constructed to hold the poles for the transmission lines. Klick said, "These poles are 80 feet tall. They have a detrimental value to everybody's land."

Nine landowners concerned about OG&E putting transmission lines in bar ditches along their land voiced complaints to the Woodward County Commission Monday, saying the county needed to hold the energy company accountable.

Both District Attorney Hollis Thorp and Sheriff Gary Stanley were present at the hearing.

According to landowner Jeff Klick, the area where OG&E is putting the poles in bar ditches rests at a public right of way located at the intersection of county roads North-South 204 and East-West 48.

"They've decided to run these transmission lines down the bar ditches and it's a surprise they could put up a pole that size in a bar ditch," Klick said, noting the poles were as tall as 80 feet. "We want an injunction (against OG&E) to prevent them from putting the lines in the bar ditches."

According to another land owner, concrete bases 20 feet deep are being constructed to hold the poles for the transmission lines.

Klick said, "These poles are 80 feet tall. They have a detrimental value to everybody's land."

"We're not against wind power," he said. "We just would like to take a step toward stopping what's going on right now. He said OG&E needed to pay the landowners... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Nine landowners concerned about OG&E putting transmission lines in bar ditches along their land voiced complaints to the Woodward County Commission Monday, saying the county needed to hold the energy company accountable.

Both District Attorney Hollis Thorp and Sheriff Gary Stanley were present at the hearing.

According to landowner Jeff Klick, the area where OG&E is putting the poles in bar ditches rests at a public right of way located at the intersection of county roads North-South 204 and East-West 48.

"They've decided to run these transmission lines down the bar ditches and it's a surprise they could put up a pole that size in a bar ditch," Klick said, noting the poles were as tall as 80 feet. "We want an injunction (against OG&E) to prevent them from putting the lines in the bar ditches."

According to another land owner, concrete bases 20 feet deep are being constructed to hold the poles for the transmission lines.

Klick said, "These poles are 80 feet tall. They have a detrimental value to everybody's land."

"We're not against wind power," he said. "We just would like to take a step toward stopping what's going on right now. He said OG&E needed to pay the landowners for use of their property and go that route."

However, he said OG&E had been approached about that and decided to put the transmission lines in the bar ditches instead.

"It's all about money," Klick said.

Thorp said the transmission line poles posed a hazard to anyone who might try to drive a combine with a large header on it through the area.

"Today we would like to take a step toward stopping what's going on right now," Klick said. He said landowners had spoken with OG&E but were ignored.

Another land owner said the utility poles posed a danger to anyone driving through the public right of way.

"It's a hazard to drive on these roads," she said.

According to County Commissioner Ted Craighead, OG&E had agreed to put the lines no closer than within three feet of the owner's property. Craighead said the Corporation Commission would be meeting soon and that the issue was expected to be addressed there.

Brian Alford, OG&E spokesman, said the company "looks at public right of ways as an option for reasons of time constraints and costs.

"I don't know what led to this decision in particular," he said. "This particular line will connect OU Spirit Windfarm to the grid. This is the line that's necessary to test the wind turbines and ultimately transmit energy."

Alford said OG&E had been working with county officials regarding one pole in particular in that area, and he said OG&E was looking at a number of options to reduce any potential hazard that might exist there.

However, "we received approval from the county for use of the right of way," he said.

Commissioners took no action after the hearing, but noted the complaints did not fall on deaf ears.

In other business, county commissioners opened and accepted two bids for a six-month supply of gypsum rock for all highway districts from Allied Custom Gypsum and RB&J Materials.

They also accepted a bid for model ballot printing for the Woodward County Election Board with Royal Printing, Oklahoma City. Costs for the printing will vary according to the kind of election being held and the type of ballots used.

In addition, commissioners approved an agreement for 2009-10 with Texas County Juvenile Detention Services and with Cleveland County Juvenile Detention Services for $19.81 a day.

In other business they:

•Approved a resolution of county intent to participate in the Association of County Commissions of Oklahoma for casualty and liability insurance.

•Approved a resolution of maximum monthly highway expenditures for June.

•Approved a resolution disposing of equipment for Highway District No. 1.

•Approved a resolution to apply for a U.S. Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery grant for a road overlay project through circuit engineering district No. 8.

•Approved a request from Western Farmers Electric Coop for two utility permits allowing the company to bore a 16-inch gas pipeline under a District No. 1 county roadway at two points.


Source: http://www.woodwardnews.net...

JUN 9 2009
http://www.windaction.org/posts/20575-commissioners-hear-concerns-from-landowners
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