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Landowner sues over power line

A Pueblo County landowner has filed a lawsuit in district court, alleging that surveyors hired by Black Hills Energy wrongly moved established boundary markers in planning the route of a 36-mile transmission line.

Robert Barrett owns 77 acres of land along Huerfano Canyon and the route of the transmission line. He is asking the district court to set aside the Pueblo County commissioners’ decision of Feb. 14 to grant Black Hills a permit for the transmission line, which would extend from the utility’s wind farm in Huerfano County north through Pueblo County.

Barrett claims the moved boundary markers near his property means the commissioners had inaccurate information on which landowners will be affected by the transmission line. He also objects that the planned route of the line will disturb two scenic areas that are likely to be declared conservation areas.

He also said that two local surveyors who previously surveyed the land have challenged the survey done for Black Hills. The lawsuit asks the court to require the commissioners to start over in considering Black Hills’ request for a 1041 land use permit for the transmission line.

County Attorney Dan Kogovsek said Barrett didn’t raise the surveying issue when the commissioners heard the permit request on Feb. 14.

“But if there is evidence the survey was wrong, the county will require Black Hills to redo it,” Kogovsek said.

Wes Ashton, local spokesman for Black Hills, said the utility does not comment on pending litigation.