Columbia City Council holds special hearing on transmission lines

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COLUMBIA - The City Council held a special meeting Tuesday night to discuss the controversial issue of possible new transmission lines.

Right now, 90 percent of the city's energy is imported from interconnected lines of other areas.

Columbia Water and Light says it needs new lines to meet new federal standards.

A couple years ago, it gave a survey for possible options to put in the new lnies. 76 percent voted for Option A, which would put a new substation by Mill Creek Elementary School.

That plan was not received well by people who live around the school, who say it would bring down property values.

Parents of children who go to the school are upset as well, citing potential health concerns.

The other option is to create a plan that would run around the city limits.

The city has already set aside $7.1 million for Option A, and would lose $3 million if they go with Option B.

"I'm a little upset about the fact they are willing to void $7 million dollars of investments already for some small group of people," said Columbia resident Charles Thurman.

Pat Stewart agreed, saying "the reason I picked Option A was because it gave you the best bang for the buck."

The end result was 4-3 in opposition for continuing the Option A project.

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