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Power struggle over power lines in Hill Country  

Credit:  by ANDREW HORANSKY/ KVUE News, www.kvue.com 13 January 2011 ~~

A plan to deliver wind power has some residents of the Hill Country deeply distressed. The state is considering putting power lines at Tierra Linda Ranch. The community of about 400 is approximately 30 miles south of Fredericksburg.

Residents say the lines would destroy their property and force some of them to move.

“I call myself ‘Ground Zero’ because my house will be taken away, and it won’t be there anymore,” resident John Weinkauf said. “We are up against a machine and it’s layered in bureaucracy.”

On Thursday, Weinkauf was among nearly 100 residents who chartered a bus from Tierra Linda to Austin, where they shared their concerns with the Texas Public Utilities Commission. The commission is scheduled to decide on where to install the lines later this month.

Regardless of the decision, someone will bear the brunt of it.

According to a spokesperson for the LCRA, which studied locations for the lines, some other locations might carry greater environmental consequences. After more than two years of study, the LCRA suggested nearly 70 options for the lines.

“We understand this is incredibly emotional,” LCRA spokesman Robert Cullick said. “At the end of the day, there is a best path.”

In the meantime, Tierra Linda residents are bracing for the worst.

“We have invested our entire life savings in that property,” resident Jeanne Heise said. “It’s going to be worth nothing.”

“It’s just been heartbreaking for everybody,” resident Sharon Fell said.

Source:  by ANDREW HORANSKY/ KVUE News, www.kvue.com 13 January 2011

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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