County fears ‘significant’ impact from power line

Mountain View County wants to be treated with respect when a route is chosen for a proposed power line project.

Mountain View County wants to be treated with respect when a route is chosen for a proposed power line project.

In a letter to the Alberta Utilities Commission under Reeve Paddy Munro’s name, the county says both the preferred and alternate routes for the 500-kilovolt transmission line from Edmonton to Calgary will have a “significant impact” on the municipality.

“We request that the commission take all steps necessary to ensure that any upgrades or additions to high-voltage transmission lines will have the least possible adverse effect on our community,” says the letter.

It goes on to say that ratepayers have “identified legitimate concerns that need to be addressed prior to granting approval for this application.”

Included among them are restrictions on land use, fair compensation to landowners and the preservation of the county’s environmentally significant areas.

Those areas are spread throughout the county and the transmission line is expected to cross several of them.

“Mountain View County will need assurances that these areas are preserved and protected during construction and operation of additional transmission lines,” the letter says.

“We’re just asking them to show some respect for our county land,” said Munro in an interview. “We expect them to do that.”

Many ratepayers oppose the power line project altogether, he said.

“But it’s coming. That’s just the way it is. So we’re just saying, OK, show some respect.”

The county, which has not opposed the power line, wants to be consulted before the final route is selected to ensure the impact on county infrastructure is taken into account.

A municipal representative intends to make an oral presentation at an upcoming community meeting on the power line in Didsbury on Nov. 21.