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TVA seeks input on new power lines

Sara McManamy-Johnson • Dec 17, 2015 at 5:18 PM

TVA held an open house Thursday at Cedars of Lebanon to get public feedback on proposed power system improvements.

“Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Cooperative needs a new substation here to power a lot of growth in the area, so we have to get a line from our line to the substation,” said Myra Ireland, a TVA spokesperson.

The proposed substation would be on Vesta Road, near the Wilson/Rutherford county line.

TVA is proposing to build a six-to-eight-mile line from either its Wilson-Lebanon Transmission Line or its Lebanon-Murfreesboro Transmission Line. The agency is proposing several alternative routes and for 30 days will be seeking public input on the varying routes.

Residents saw maps showing the proposed routes, and project personnel met with residents to answer any questions and to hear feedback.

“Our goal is to make a good decision that affects the least amount of people and properties, so public input is the best way to do that,” said Sloan.

State Representative Mark Pody attended Thursday’s open house to learn more about the project and to hear any constituent concerns about the plans.

“Without proper utilities, it’s going to be hard to attract good jobs, so I understand that we need it,” said Pody. “I just want to make sure we choose one that’s going to have the least amount of impact on both the economy and the constituents.”

He said several property owners he spoke with had voiced concerns.

“I’m here to listen, and I want the experts to come back and say, ‘here’s the pros and cons of each one,’” said Pody.

He said he realized TVA wouldn’t be able to make everybody happy.

“There’s got to be a reasonable give and take for all parties for something like this to happen,” said Pody.

Marvin Medlin, who owns property that could be impacted by the project, worked for TVA for 25 years.

He said during his time with the agency, he encountered several people who didn’t like TVA trucks crossing their property.

“It’s kind of a necessary evil for electrification,” said Medlin.

That’s why he said he had no problems with the proposals.

“If they have to cross [my property], we’d be alright,” said Medlin. “People do need electricity. Would you want to be without it?”

TVA will accept comments through Oct. 11, and they expect to reach a decision by this winter.

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