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A panel discussion on how to cut the planned brodheadsville electricity power lines

18 September 2009 1,078 views No Comment

BRODHEADSVILLE — A group of local residents, concerned about plans to build power lines near their homes in the West End, met Wednesday night to discuss how to effectively protest the selection of future site of a 5.7-mile electric line.

PPL Electric Utilities Corp., not represented at the meeting, announced plans in May to construct lines — supported by 100-foot steel poles — from the site of a planned substation near Sun Valley and Indian Mountain Lakes to connect to existing power lines on the west side of Route 115.  PPL has said the lines will be used to transmit power in the area and make it more reliable as demand has increased over the years. Neighbours say the proposed lines will damage the environment and decrease the property value.

“Realtors across the country agree, if all things are equal between two homes and one home is close to high-voltage transmission lines, a homebuyer will always purchase the other one,” said Davia Markowitz, during the meeting, held at the Western Pocono Community Library in Brodheadsville.

There were more than 40 people at the meeting and many expressed doubts about the safety of the environment if the power lines are built. Linda Snyder, a nearby homeowner, said she was worried about the extensive use of herbicides that would keep power line corridors clear of vegetation.

PPL has said that they will continue to work with homeowners in the area to minimize the impact on people and the environment. Before the route was finalized, PPL held several open house meetings to discuss possible routes with homeowners. Of the two routes proposed at the time, the power company chose the more southern route, which will run south of Merwinsburg along Pheasant Run Road.

Monroe County Commissioner Theresa Merli was at the meeting and said that she was pleased to see such a large number of people who were eager to find workable alternatives and solutions to the conflict over placement of the power lines.

“The thing that I tuned in most to is the number of people that want to be part of a solution, working to find solutions and trying to learn the facts about the pluses and minuses,” Merli said. She added that the conservation district and open space board in the county have been in contact with PPL to discuss alternative routes.

The company will file plans for each new line with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission for approval. PPL Electric Utilities has said the the substations and power lines could be in place by the fall of 2011.

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