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Power line fight goes to city supervisors

Dave Frank
Nevada Appeal Staff Writer

Carson City taxpayers or a group of homeowners might pay to keep a power line and 28 power poles off South Saliman Road between Koontz Lane and Fairview Drive that nearby residents say will block their views, decrease their home values and possibly hurt their health.

The city board of supervisors could decide to move or bury a power line planned by the state’s electric utility, NV Energy, at its meeting Thursday where John Perra, area service manager for the utility, will give a presentation.

NV Energy representatives have said the project is needed to prevent existing electrical transformers from being overloaded.

The city can’t order the utility to move the 50-foot-tall poles, according to a report by City Manager Larry Werner, but can pay it to.

The costs could be collected from the city or from the more than 50 homeowners in the area near the proposed power line, said Karl Walquist, a utilities representative.

Ginny Hensler has lived in the neighborhood for 28 years, and, she said, the fact that NV Energy could put its power poles by her house without getting special approval first is “kind of amazing to me.”

The power line could hurt her health, she said, and moving would be difficult because the value of her home would be hurt.

“It’s just like they’ve pulled the rug right from underneath us,” she said.

Mike Nicholas, who has lived in neighborhood about 20 years, said he thinks it’s ridiculous he should have to pay to move a power line that should have never been planned.

“They should be paying us,” he said.

The city and NV Energy already have a deal, however, he said, and there’s nothing he can do now to save his view of the mountains.

“I can stand on my back porch and take some of the neatest pictures you’ll ever see,” he said.

Other homeowners like Clare Hardy are “cautiously optimistic” that they might not have to pay to change NV Energy’s decision they say could reduce home values more than 10 percent.

The utility might not want to get bad publicity, she said, and the city needs to start burying power lines for a “good modern image.”

– Contact reporter Dave Frank at dfrank@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1212.