City Wants Input on Proposed Electric Line Routes

7 years 7 months 3 weeks ago Thursday, October 28 2010 Oct 28, 2010 Thursday, October 28, 2010 7:36:44 AM CDT October 28, 2010 in News

COLUMBIA - Columbia Water and Light is working on improving the high-voltage electric transmission system and it wants area residents' input. The first set of open house meetings for discussion is scheduled this week for the southern portion of the city.

The different transmission line routes proposed are for the Grindstone, Perche Creek and McBaine areas.

The Grindstone route will run between Mill Creek Substation and the Grindstone Substation. This is located at the intersection of Grindstone Parkway and Ponderosa Street. Perche Creek area will run between Mill Creek Substation and Perche Creek Substation off Germantown Drive near Scott Boulevard. Lastly, the McBaine route will run between Mill Creek Substation and McBaine, MO.

"Our intention is not to go through people's backyards or environmentally sensitive areas or things that we should be avoiding with these types of projects," Columbia Water and Light Director Tad Johnsen.

The plans try to mainly add electrical lines to major roads. Transmission planning studies showed the city had issues with a weak transmission system. These proposed improvements are to strengthen the electric reliability and regional stability for the city and neighboring systems in those areas.

"I think it would be a good idea if that's where the population growth is going," Columbia resident Jerry Williams said.

Some residents said they'd hope Water and Light could install underground lines versus overhead lines.

"Worse comes to worse, if it's something they had to do, I guess that's what they have to do. If they can get away with putting it underground that would be preferable," Brad Imes said.

However, Columbia Water and Light said it is more expensive to install those buried lines. Johnsen said the main goal of the project is to instill a reliable electrical source.

"That's what the community really expects out of this is to be able to keep the lights on in the community," Johnsen said.

Those meetings begin Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. at Rock Bridge High School with the Grindstone route first. Wednesday hosts the Perche Creek meeting and Thursday will discuss the McBaine area. All three meetings are at the same time and place.

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