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Landowners back power route; Lines to link wind power, I-35 corridor

More than 20 landowners had filed as intervenors in the process, which produced a route that ultimately was more palatable to them than both the original proposal and an alternate route. ...

SAN ANGELO, Texas - Miles of open country. Fields of pasture and mesquite. Maybe cultivated farmland or a fence. Little to gaze at except open range.

Eyes peering just west of San Angelo, however, are about to find a new element in the skyline: transmission lines, something that the state of Texas has deemed necessary as the state's population and electricity needs increase.

The 38 miles of Lower Colorado River Authority Transmission Service Corp. lines will link wind power in Tom Green and Schleicher counties to stations along the growing I-35 corridor. The Public Utility Commission approved the route for the Twin Buttes to McCamey D transmission line on July 9 after months of public meetings and consultation with property owners.

More than 20 landowners had filed as intervenors in the process, which produced a route that ultimately was more palatable to them than both the original proposal and an alternate route.

Scott McGregor, who owns land southwest of San Angelo, said the lines go several miles from north to south on the east side of his property. He said the lines are relatively out of the way.

"They follow the property line," McGregor said.

Such is the case with much... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

SAN ANGELO, Texas - Miles of open country. Fields of pasture and mesquite. Maybe cultivated farmland or a fence. Little to gaze at except open range.

Eyes peering just west of San Angelo, however, are about to find a new element in the skyline: transmission lines, something that the state of Texas has deemed necessary as the state's population and electricity needs increase.

The 38 miles of Lower Colorado River Authority Transmission Service Corp. lines will link wind power in Tom Green and Schleicher counties to stations along the growing I-35 corridor. The Public Utility Commission approved the route for the Twin Buttes to McCamey D transmission line on July 9 after months of public meetings and consultation with property owners.

More than 20 landowners had filed as intervenors in the process, which produced a route that ultimately was more palatable to them than both the original proposal and an alternate route.

Scott McGregor, who owns land southwest of San Angelo, said the lines go several miles from north to south on the east side of his property. He said the lines are relatively out of the way.

"They follow the property line," McGregor said.

Such is the case with much of the final line. In at least one case the line cuts a property in half, but the owner said the lines follow other transmission lines already there.

"It goes right through the middle of my ranch," John March Doss said. "I'm real happy with it. It helps gathering livestock. It's a positive thing to me. A bunch of the neighbors were contesting it as an eyesore. Heck, I like it myself."

Others were less delighted, but still found the final path acceptable and worth hiring lawyers and paying legal fees to be heard.

"I spent $15,000 keeping them off of me," rancher Andy Allen said. "I don't want to glow in the dark."

Allen said he managed to avoid having the lines on his property, although they are still within a few miles of his house.

Duff Hallman, who ranches southwest of Christoval, was pleased with the final route.

"We escaped," Hallman said. "It's going to be east of us. The primary and secondary routes were going right behind the houses and over our roping arena as near as we could tell."

Myrta Rathbone, an administrator for the David Steen Estate, also was satisfied with the final path.

"We felt like the line they had going across our ranch cater-cornered from the top left to the bottom ranch would cut it in two," she said.

She said she was worried that the original path planned for the power lines would have lowered the value of the ranch.

"We're lucky they did not choose (that) line," Rathbone said. The transmission line will be visible, "but just over the fence. I think the best thing that could have happened did. The intervenors got together to propose a line that would (satisfy) most people, and that's what they did, and that's what they chose."

Stanley Mayfield said he, too, got away from having power lines on his property, but they'll be visible from his home. "We're going to be looking at them," Mayfield said. "That's the double-edged sword."

Rancher Joe Collins said the lines won't cut his land in half as was originally planned, but he still will have them running along the north side of his ranch near Tankersley.

"Nobody wants power lines on their property in the first place," Collins said. "But this is a public utility so they can tell you they're going to come through."

Collins said he is concerned that he will not get as good a deal for easements as he might with a private utility company, although he said this will be his first experience with power lines coming over his land.

The approved route crosses the San Angelo Claybird Association's land, although the order said it would not get in the way of shooting there.

The transmission lines are estimated to cost $68 million.

Clara Tuma, a Lower Colorado River Authority spokeswoman, said directly affected landowners have been sent notifications. Buying easements should follow after the precise route is set - that is, after determining whether the line will need to be moved a few feet at various locations, Tuma said.


Source: http://www.gosanangelo.com/...

JUL 23 2010
http://www.windaction.org/posts/27409-landowners-back-power-route-lines-to-link-wind-power-i-35-corridor
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