Red Deer residents try to get power line diverted

Watch: Concerned about how it affects their health, some Red Deer residents are offering to pay AltaLink to move a power line. Tom Vernon reports.

EDMONTON – Residents in Red Deer say their concerns about a high voltage power line are being ignored.

The AltaLink line that runs right through The Pines neighbourhood needs to be upgraded and homeowners say this is the perfect opportunity to move it. But, Alberta’s utilities commission disagrees.

The lines have been in place for decades, long before the neighbourhood grew around them.

READ MORE: Helicopter used to construct new transmission lines in central Alberta vandalized 

Because of a growth in demand for power, AltaLink says the lines need to be upgraded. But, residents are opposing the plan. They are worried about how it could impact their health and believe it will negatively affect property values and have even offered to pay AltaLink to move them around the neighbourhood.

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“We’re trying to work with the city where we’re coming up enough money where AltaLink isn’t forking out the amount of money they are saying it’s costing to put in maybe two or three more poles to go around us,” explains resident Ashley Meyers.

READ MORE: ‘Booms’ in south Edmonton a result of transmission line work 

AltaLink and the utilities commission went through a process — which included public hearings — to determine the route. The one through The Pines was determined to be the preferred one and the company won’t be moving it.

“For various reasons that include environmental, economic and other considerations, we put forward a preferred route that keeps the line on the existing alignment,” says Peter Brodsky with AltaLink Communications.

This is just one of seven AltaLink projects in the area to improve the electrical system. Altalink says the new poles will have a smaller footprint. Construction scheduled to begin this week.

Residents say they plan to bring their concerns up with Alberta’s ombudsman in hopes of having the line diverted around their community.

The existing Parsons Close view in Red Deer.
The existing Parsons Close view in Red Deer. Supplied: AltaLink
What the new Parsons Close view will be.
What the new Parsons Close view will be. Supplied: AltaLink
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