At the Monday, Aug. 20, meeting, members of the Malta Town Board listened to planning items regarding the installation of underground electric transmission lines at the Luther Forest Technology Campus.
The history was that they were going to put high tension wires from the Northway all the way over, said Councilman Cliff Lange. The board originally questioned whether or not the lines could be placed underground, but were told by contractors that the technology was not available.
After several years, however, the board was given the option of putting the wires underground using old technology ` a factor that would reduce the cost of mitigation, originally slated at $1.5 million.
The 2.89 miles of transmission lines will require a transition substation to allow for 1.12 miles of the lines to be underground and 1.77 miles to remain above ground.
`We’re looking at possibly the costs of living in this area since this project has been approved; how much that should be added on to that,` added Lange. `We need to come up with a formula, which I believe they (the Luther Forest Technology Campus Economic Development Corporation) have. By using that formula, they’ll come in the next time, and we’ll know what those figures are. We’re looking out for the interests of the public.`
Other questions were answered at the meeting, particularly those that emerged from the town board’s July 19 workshop about the transmission lines.
`We expect to keep the ETL (electronic transmission lines) within the 400-foot buffer,` said Michael Relyea, executive director of Luther Forest Technology Campus Economic Development Corporation (LFTCEDC) of the residential buffer between Woodfield Estates and the Luther Forest residential community. All roads being constructed within the Luther Forest Technology Campus are also going to be returned to the care of the town.
`At the end of the day, the roads will be turned over to the town of Malta,` said Relyea. `The way that the funding comes through, the town of Malta has to own the roads.`
A 30-foot easement for repairs of the lines is planned as well. Most repair work will be accessible through two sets of manholes along duct banks within this easement. However, reports from the Luther Forest Development Corporation stated that some alleyways or driveways may become blocked temporarily for repairs.
Councilman Lange expressed concerns regarding this.
`I think homeowners should be informed that they’re going on an easement and that it might be dug up,` he said.
In the end, Relyea said, `People are going out of their way to accommodate everyone.`
Questions about the appearance of the transition substation along Stonebreak Road were also answered. The substation will be approximately 70 feet high with poles that extend 90 feet. `There’s no way to hide it, just dress it up a bit,` said Mike Ingersoll of the LA Group.
Ultimately, the meeting ended with a possibility of an amendment to the Planned Development District Legislation for the technology campus.
The town board announced that a public hearing regarding issues discussed at this meeting will be held some time in October.“