Homeowners Fighting KCP&L's Transmission Line Plans

    Plans by Kansas City Power and Light to build new transmission lines in the Northland are causing a serious jolt for neighbors. KCP&L says it needs to connect its new Iatan Power Plant to a substation in Kansas City north and neighbors are concerned about the route the huge power lines will take.

Bill Hankins and his wife have dreams to build an indoor horse arena near their 1850's farm house.  Problem is, it may lie right where KCP&L wants to build a new transmission line.

The lines wouldn't be similar to the small power poles that already line his driveway.  They'd look more like the H-shaped power lines that require clear cutting to make a path.

"There's a petition there with 400 signatures, everybody's got their own reasons that they don't like it," Hankins said.

KCP&L had hoped to announce the exact route in just two weeks, but widespread opposition has convinced the utility to slow down.

"Wherever we put this we are a little bit in a trick box because nobody like to have these lines or these facilities in or around them, we get that," Chuck Caisley with KCP&L said. "But we're going to do the very best we can to listen to all of the concerns and make a decision that minimizes the impact to as many people as we possibly can."

A northern route might impact Hankins and an 1850s cemetery. A more southern path would affect neighbor Kathy Truders.

"One of their ideas is to come directly behind our house, which would be horrible," Truders said. "It would ruin our property value, I don't think it's safe, healthwise."

Ultimately, KCP&L can use eminent domain to select whatever route it wants, but homeowners promise a legal battle in return.

"I think they could rethink the whole thing, they could run the lines along the roadways, that already have right of of ways, instead of traversing all this property," Truders said.

KCP&L said it's willing to build a more expensive, less direct route if it reduces the impact to land-owners, but ultimately, the utility knows it may prove very difficult to satisfy everyone.

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