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Local News

January 8, 2014

New Marcy power line sparks local concerns

A proposed 78-mile high-voltage transmission line that would run through Otsego and Delaware Counties is generating concern from some local officials.

The route proposed by a company called North America Transmission would take the overhead line parallel to the existing Marcy South line, beginning at the Edic substation near Utica and terminating at the existing Fraser substation in the Delaware County hamlet of Fraser.

Among towns that could be traversed by the 345-kilovolt line are Richfield, Exeter, Burlington, New Lisbon, Hartwick, Laurens, Oneonta, Otego, Franklin and Delhi.

Otsego County Rep. Ed Lentz, D-New Lisbon, said the project, if approved, could have consequences for landowners along the route as well as environmental impacts.

Specifically, Lentz said, there are concerns that the presence of an additional power line could impact property values and cause habitat fragmentation.

“I’m not saying the power line would be a bad thing,” Lentz said. “But I don’t think people should be displaced from their homes without fair compensation. People need to be adequately compensated,” if the power line is placed on their property, he said.

Lentz said the new project would extend the width of the existing Marcy corridor by about 150 feet. He said the project planners don’t want to use the towers for the existing lines because if one of them were to topple it would negate the benefit of having the additional power.

Lentz said he will recommend that Otsego County become an official intervenor to the PSC proceedings concerning the project so that the county’s voice will be heard as regulators evaluate the proposal. The state requires developers of transmission lines to set aside funds for those seeking to be intervenors in order to defray the cost of dealing with a project that will have an impact on local communities.

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