There has been a flood of public comments in response to, and because a comment period opened about, Xcel’s request for permit amendments. The lion’s share of them are regarding the short stretch of E-5 and AS-1, from landowners near the Quarry substation. Because that substation was selected in the St. Cloud-Monticello routing docket, that’s the terminus for the Fargo-St. Cloud line, which is why I didn’t think the Fargo-Monticello route should have been split up.
To check out the flurry of comments, go to www.puc.state.mn.us, click “Search eDockets” and search for docket 09-1056.
… and further south, problems brewing as landowners are faced with condemnation, or worse, shifting it just off their land so they get the impacts and no compensation. From an article in the St. Cloud Times, it seems landowners were approached about easements, and then suddenly, the alignment shifted:
The Walshes say they would have taken the “Buy the Farm” option and others were considering it.
“We think they realized, ‘We’re going to have to compensate all seven of these people. Let’s get it out of here,’ ” Belinda Walsh said.
CapX spokesman Tim Carlsgaard said the utilities are trying to keep the transmission line as far away from houses as they can.
“Our goal was to stay off their property to have as least impact as possible,” he said. However, Carlsgaard said, “There hasn’t been any deliberate effort to say, ‘We’re going to keep it off your property so we don’t have to pay you.’ ”
Here’s the full article:
11:41 PM, Nov. 7, 2011
Written by Kirsti Marohn
ST. JOSEPH — When the CapX 2020 transmission line is built along Stearns County Road 2 south of St. Joseph, Scott and Belinda Walsh and their four children will get a front-row seat — but not much else.
The Walshes worry that the power line will loom across the skyline in front of the two-story, gray house where they have lived for six years, lower their home’s value and possibly affect the health of their children.
But because the power line won’t actually touch their land, the Walshes — along with their six neighbors — won’t get any financial compensation, the power to negotiate for damages or the option of having the utility companies buy their property. It’s put the residents in the unique position of wishing the power line would be built closer to their homes, rather than across the road.
“Legally we don’t have any rights with it just off our property,” Belinda Walsh said.