Westar addresses power pole concerns

company will hold public meeting

WICHITA, Kan. - Westar Energy says it will be reevaluating a plan to install new transmission lines through a northeast Wichita neighborhood.

The company has been installing 105 feet metal power poles to feed additional and more reliable power to the new Innovation Campus at Wichita State University.  The pole are replacing poles that in some cases are 50 years old.

The metal poles handle weather extremes much better and are less likely to break.  The company had been purchasing easements from homeowners along the powerline path.

However, residents have complained about safety and decreased property values due to the new lines.  At a press conference Monday afternoon near 11th and Minnesota where lines are being installed, Westar Vice President Don Sherman says the company has heard residents concerns and they are taking action.

Westar will be providing further compensation to residents, including the purchase of some homes that are in the path of the new power lines.  Those that wish to remain in their homes will be compensated and can stay in their homes, while Westar will purchase the homes of residents who want to leave because of the project.

The company will also hold a public meeting an reevaluating how to finish the project.  They will be looking at using smaller poles to finish the rest of the project from Mossman to the WSU campus.

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