Headache for homeowners over Black Hills Energy construction project

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Plans to construct a transmission line through unincorporated Pueblo County causing headaches for homeowners.

Black Hills Energy is proposing the plan and will be appearing in front of Pueblo County Commissioners Wednesday called the Cañon West Reliability Project.

Approving the plans would allow Black Hills Energy to put up transmission lines through unincorporated Pueblo County.

The transmission line would transmit energy from pueblo substation to Cañon City and other towns west of there.

It’s a 39-mile, 115-kilovolt transmission line that starts in Pueblo West and goes toward Cañon City.

Black Hills Energy said that this line is needed to make power and service in Cañon City and Penrose more reliable and to create an ability for more lines if needed.  

Originally Black Hills Energy said only about a handful of properties will be affected by the construction, but homeowners continue to say they are not taking account homeowners who will lose their unobscured view of Pikes Peak and other mountain ranges. 

“Any other routes that were brought to the table, would either not provide those needed resources to the community, or would affect additional property owners in same fashion or a worse fashion, or were not economically suitable for our community,” said Black Hill Energy Senior Transmission project manager Seth Boutilier. 

“So putting it underground, overground, I don’t think this route is right, at all; because it doesn’t service our community,” said Elizabeth Mielke, a Pueblo West homeowner.  

A few months ago this issue was heard and the Pueblo County commissioners asked Black Hills Energy to host community meetings and hear concerns of the public to try to come up with a compromise.  

Locals said the transmission line will be unsightly, obstruct their view of the mountains and decrease their property values.  

At the meeting, commissioners learned that no compromised was reached. Now the commissioners asking black hills energy for more information. 

The commissioners hoping that they can come back with the exact cost for undergrounding these lines. and if there are any advantages to above or below ground. 

“I think the commissioners deserve to be well informed. I have a small team that working with me. We will work overtime and get these numbers back to the commissioners,” said Boutilier. 

“For them to say there is not an industry standard to bury lines in this area, I think is very incorrect,” said Mielke.

Commissioners asked the group to reconvene on Nov. 13 and looking to see Black Hills estimates for costs of going underground and other independent factors. 

Tap here for more information about the Cañon West Reliability Project. 

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