A controversial plan to put power lines up along a recreation trail in Dufferin County has caused a split among local politicians.
Dufferin County council narrowly approved the plan Thursday night with some changes they hoped would please everyone. The proposed power line would run parallel to a recreation trail and many residents and even some local politicians have concerns.
Donna Marion’s property backs onto an old rail road corridor that is now used as a recreation trail but it may soon have a giant power line running alongside it and that her worried.
“How’s it going to affect your health? How are you going to sleep? What’s it going to do to the habitat? What’s it going to do to the animals?”
Dufferin County approved the agreement with Dufferin Wind Power on Thursday night. The agreement would allow the company access to the rail corridor to build a power line connecting wind turbines in Melancthon to a main power station in Orangeville. The power lines would be above ground in some place. The decision avoids and expropriation hearing at the Ontario Energy Board.
“I guess the concern is that if you go through an expropriation process you’ll wind up with an awful lot less than what was in the agreement at the present time,” says Dufferin County Warden Bill Hill.
The company will pay the county $1.4 million – with half going towards use of the land and the rest for county projects. But the project may still be challenged. The county is requiring Dufferin Wind Power to get access permits from local municipalities in order to build the giant power line.
Amaranth Mayor Don Maciver voted against the agreement – the power line will run right through his community.
“The easement has been approved by the county but that doesn’t mean that all the permits are in place. And in Amaranth for example we have not signed the road use agreement which will limit access to the rail line and to the easement etc. so there is still opposition there.”
Dufferin Wind Power says they have no issues with the changes made by the county and plan to get access permits from the local municipalities.
Both the county and Dufferin Wind Power still have to sign off on the agreement before its official. That is expected to happen in the very near future.
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