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OG&E power line proposal has landowners organizing

Landowners along a proposed 120-mile wind power line that cuts through Kingfisher and Canadian counties are planning more meetings to discuss possible legal action against Oklahoma Gas and Electric Co., a spokesman for concerned landowners said.

About 100 people attended a two-and-a-half-hour meeting at Rose Rock Bank in Kingfisher on Tuesday night. Many who attended said they were not notified in advance of past public meetings sponsored by OG&E concerning the planned line.

Brent Snider, who is building a house northwest of Okarche near the proposed line, said the majority of those who attended Tuesday’s meeting are willing to contribute money to a legal fund to hire an attorney.

“We are going to meet with a lawyer and we are going to get a fund going for a lawyer,” Snider said Wednesday.

OG&E officials said they are planning to build the power line between wind farms south of Woodward to a power substation between Rockwell Avenue and Council Road by 2010. The line would be carried on 115-feet poles that would cross within 500 feet of several landowners’ homes.

OG&E spokesman Gil Broyles attended the Tuesday meeting in Kingfisher and told landowners he would take concerns back to OG&E officials working on the project. Broyles said OG&E officials are considering another meeting.

“There is a level of concern and confusion on this project,” Broyles said Wednesday. “We are certainly discussing the need for another meeting.”

He said OG&E agents are now talking to property owners in efforts to acquire right of way easements along the route.

OG&E’s plan is for customers to pay $1.50 a month to build the $211 million line that can carry 345,000 volts of electricity, Broyles said.

Snider said, “My main concern is that we need to have another meeting. OG&E needs to set up another meeting because some landowners got their notices in the mail after the other meetings. There are other people who are elderly who could not make the other meetings.”

He said he is encouraged by the number of people who came to the Tuesday meeting.

“We will see what they (OG&E) do, but we won’t wait on them,” Snider said. “We want to give everyone a chance to find out what is going on and talk to their neighbors about this.”

By Robert Medley
Staff Writer

The Oklahoman

24 July 2008