TECO a step closer to new transmission line in Eastern Hillsborough

06/12/07 Mitch E. Perry
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The state Public Service Commission yesterday approved Tampa Electric’s proposal to build a 230,000 volt transmission line in eastern Hillsborough County. TECO says the new 30 mile line, estimated to cost around 70 million dollars, will connect from their new substation located at State Road 60 and Turner Road in western Polk County, with a substation in Valrico and a new substation in Temple Terrace Rick Morena is with Tampa Electric. He says yesterday’s approval by the PSC is only 1 step in getting ultimate approval to build the line (roll tape#1 o.q.”approval”) However, where the project will go through isn’t exactly clear at this point. Terry Flott is the President of the Seffner Community Alliance. She said there local homeowners in the area don’t want the transmission line in their backyard (roll tape#2 o.q.”disrupted as well”)

TECO has held 4 different public meetings on the project. They say that through those meetings, or in follow up calls and/or e-mails, 145 residents have responded to the their inquiries as to where the project will be located at.
But Terry Flott from the Seffner Community Alliance says she has some issues with the actual forms that TECO distributed to the local community (roll tape#3 o.q.”real picture”) TECO’s Rick Morera says that after the particular path of the 30 mile line is determined, it will go back for community approval (roll tape#4 o.q.”aways”) TECO went through a public relations nightmare several years ago when neighbors in the Egypt Lake area of Hillsborough County ultimately went to court to protest the placing of concrete poles as large as 125 feet tall in their residential neighborhood. Terry Flott from the Seffner Community Alliance says if she had her way, these transmission line would be built underground. After massive power outages from fallen power lines littered South Florida after Hurricane Wilma in 2005, several lawmakers suggested the same thing. But the cost would be prohibitive. She says she’s seen the new power poles and says they won’t be a re-enactment of the Egypt Lake debacle. (roll tape#3 o.q.” put it that way”)
But TECO spokesman Rick Morera says the size of those power poles are not yet at all decided just yet (roll tape#6 o.q.”aways”) And again, TECO says the cost of the Transmission line is expected to be around $70 million dollars..This morning’s Tampa Tribune listed the price at between 20 and 30 million.

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