The City of Fergus Falls passed a resolution asking that CapX 2020 go somewhere else, “We’re not demanding,” … “We’re just suggesting.” And there were no copies there for us to see, so we don’t know exactly what the resolution said.
Where have they been? And why weren’t they visibly present at the meeting last night at the Bigwood Event Center? It’s been quite depressing how few people are showing up and speaking out. Today in Breckenridge, it’s the same thing, very few, and at the beginning, NO ONE had signed up to speak. Thankfully some did.
Here’s the article from the Fergus Falls Journal:
Council requests CapX2020 change
Published 7:08am Tuesday, November 16, 2010
With a mind toward the city’s future, the Fergus Falls City Council approved a request to the power companies involved in the CapX2020 power line plan to change the route of a line that currently goes through some land the city may annex in upcoming years.
CapX2020 is a planned series of electricity transmission lines around Minnesota. The lines are planned to increase and improve the state’s power grid, and much of the new electricity generated will be from alternative resources, like wind.
Right now, a transmission line stretching from Fargo to St. Cloud is expected to pass through an area of rural Fergus Falls south of U.S. Highway 210 and west of Interstate Highway 94. The city plans to eventually annex this section of land, and with that in mind, its residents approached the city to request that the line be moved.
When and if the area is annexed, explained Community Development Director Gordon Hydukovich, it will likely be zoned as about half residential and half commercial. Currently, the line is passing right on the border of the two zones, and the residents of the area would like to see it moved east into the commercial area. Hydukovich said this makes sense, as such power lines usually fit better into the aesthetics of commercial or industrial zones.
The resolution the city council approved, which Hydukovich will take to a CapX2020 meeting today at the Bigwood Event Center, asks that the project administrators move the line to one of three routes. The first route, known as route A, moves the line away from the city entirely, keeping it in North Dakota until just south of Wahpeton, where it heads east and resumes its original route around Alexandria. While it doesn’t matter to Fergus Falls where the line goes, Hydukovich explained (the city will not receive any power from the line directly), route A is more complicated and will probably not be preferred by the planners of the CapX project.
The second route would put the line in the I-94 right of way, which would not be objectionable to Fergus Falls but could be objectionable to the Minnesota Department of Transportation, because it does not usually approve of other entities using its right of ways and because there is a scenic easement in the right of way which MNDoT might want to preserve.
The final option would move the line as close to the I-94 scenic easement as possible, following the Otter Tail River around the easement and then following the I-94 easement down toward St. Cloud.
“We’re not demanding,” Hydukovich said of the resolution. “We’re just suggesting.” He will present the resolution without comment at today’s meeting, where CapX staff and an administrative law judge will be heading up the proceedings.