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Landowners Pack Maine Town Hall for Answers About New NYSEG Power Line

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Broome County residents gathered in the Town of Maine Monday night in search of answers when it comes to a new NYSEG high-voltage power line.

Landowners filled the Maine Town Hall for the Broome/Cortland/Onondaga Alliance meeting, teaching residents about their easement rights when it comes to the plans for a new 345 kV high-voltage power line proposed by NYSEG last month. Many landowners feel left in the dark by the electric company.

“I wasn’t given any information before they brought the easement by, I haven’t been given any information about what the project actually entails, the scope of the impact on my land, how they’ll be protecting the land.”

Richard Edsell of Lapeer is one property owner at risk of losing acres of land due to the power line expansion.

“I think people are very surprised at the amount of loss they will experience.”

That’s why he joined the alliance as Vice Chair, to spread the word to people like him who might not be aware of what is happening, and to negotiate terms with NYSEG.

“We feel that by coming together as a group, the strength in numbers will be able to bring informing the public service commission about the impact of the project, exploring alternative avenues for delivering this energy, and also negotiating to gain best possible terms if it comes to that.”

Edsall worries he will lose the woods and a pond in his backyard, and says the property value of his home will plummet.

Chair of the BCO Alliance, Kathie Arnold, has similar concerns.

“It’s a huge threat to our farm and future.”

Arnold owns Twin Oaks Dairy LLC in Truxton with her son. The farm already has three high-voltage towers running through its 730 acres. The dairy farmer is worried about what could happen if the existing corridor is expanded.

“It will be over our feed bunks, it will be over our calf barn, it will take my brother-in-law’s gun shop, and it will take his house.”

Arnold hopes NYSEG will consider an alternative plan, so that her family’s legacy, dating back to the 1930’s, isn’t destroyed.

“If they really need this new line, to put it in the existing power line corridor and not take another 150-foot wide spot that will take out trees, cause erosion, change draining patterns, take homes, take barns, and ruin people’s businesses.”

NYSEG released a statement to Fox 40 Monday afternoon regarding the plans for the new line.

“NYSEG is investing in electric system upgrades to comply with new federal standards. These projects will create a more reliable and resilient energy grid by upgrading key substations and transmission infrastructure  to meet the needs of local homes and businesses. The company is working closely with its neighbors and welcomes their input to ensure that improvements are performed safely and with minimal disruption to the environment and the communities we serve.”

The BCO Alliance is set to meet again on May 17th in Cortland. For more information, click here.