Power line plan concerns metro residents

Tuesday, July 22nd 2008, 8:12 pm
By: News 9

By Melissa Maynarich, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- A plan is in place to build a network of high voltage lines that would carry wind energy from Woodward to Oklahoma City.

Not everyone is happy with the idea, however. Some residents said the plan is not good for their community.

People living along the planned route of the power lines are concerned. Some are concerned for safety, others, because they don't want to look at the eyesore. Some of the lines are cutting through million dollar property.

Long time Piedmont resident, and City Council man John Brown, has a beautiful lot of land. His sister lives next door. His father is preparing to build a home also on a neighboring lot. Something else is now moving in nearby too, that the Brown's aren't happy with.

OG&E is planning to build high voltage power lines from Woodward to Oklahoma City. The route cuts right through Piedmont, on agricultural land, but in certain spots, very close to some of the highest valued homes in town.

"Nobody wants to live around these lines, and a lot of these people have substantial investments and they're concerned about their property value with the line being there," Brown said.

OG&E has the right under state law to buy a utility right of way easement for the line from landowners.

The company said its taken careful consideration in mapping out the project.

"Making sure it's not near schools, churches, cemeteries, wet lands; a lot of things go into determining where these routes go," OG&E spokesman Brian Alford said.

OG&E said, residents worried about electromagnetic fields shouldn't be, because there's no correlation between the location of power lines used, and health risks.

Brown said, aside from health, he doesn't want the lines in his yard.

"You're looking out your front door and seeing 100-foot-tall power poles with lines running through; these lines running through make a lot of noise," Brown said.

The project will cost $211 million. OG&E customers will pay for it. You'll see an extra $1.50 per month on your bill.