Resident asks county to help fight power line
A Concord Township resident received little encouragement Nov. 14 when he asked the Delaware County commissioners to help him fight First Energy Corp. and American Transmission Systems.
The company plans a new 138,000-volt transmission line that would run through the township, requiring a 60-foot right of way cleared of vegetation.
“At the present time they are in pre-application phase É and they are discussing the routes for this line,” Thomas Prestera told the commissioners.
Two of the segments would utilize existing rights of way and would cross the Scioto River north of U.S. Route 42 where other lines now cross, he said.
“The third line consists of newly acquired rights of way from the owners of private property and crosses the Scioto River at a new location directly behind my house,” Prestera said.
Prestera said the proposed line cuts through a parcel he owns that is 150 feet wide, significantly reducing the value of the property.
“Homeowners that are adjacent to each other have the potential of only losing a 30-foot right of way on each side of the boundary, but many parcels, the property will actually lose a 60-foot path,” Prestera said.
Prestera said his land and the building on it are worth about $300,000, and the 60-foot right of way would make the property “virtually unsellable.”
He said he and his wife had been relying on the property as an investment for their retirement.
“With the current state of the economic decline, this is an assault on our property that would almost be intolerable,” Prestera said.
Commissioner Dennis Stapleton said he sympathized with Prestera, but the commissioners can do little to convince First Energy to use the existing river crossing for the new line.
“In my opinion, the utility companies, in Ohio and other states É we’ve created empires for them. We’ve created monopolies for them,” Stapleton said. “We’re powerless many times when it comes to what they can and want to do.”
Stapleton recommended that Prestera contact his local legislators as well as the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio about the issue.
Stapleton and commissioner Ken O’Brien both said they were behind Prestera at least as far as holding another meeting with the citizens affected by the planned lines.
Concord Township trustees on Nov. 14 approved a resolution to ask First Energy to use their existing rights of way.
The Presteras have set up a website, www.nonewwires.org, with a petition. They plan to hold a community meeting 7 p.m. Nov. 29 at 6385 Home Road.