The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

August 28, 2012

Empire substation still a sore subject for nearby residents

An open house has been scheduled by Empire District Electric Co. to answer questions that residents have about a substation location that met with neighborhood opposition at a recent zoning hearing.

In a letter to residents, the company’s vice president of commercial operations invites residents of Hidden Hills to attend an open house from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 13, at South Middle School. The substation plan also drew opposition from neighboring subdivisions The Highlands and Wildwood Acres.

Martin Penning writes that an application by Empire for a special-use permit for the substation is on the Tuesday agenda of the Joplin City Council, but that the utility company will ask that it be tabled until company representatives can meet with neighbors.

Empire’s request for the permit hit a roadblock Aug. 13 when opposition surfaced before the Joplin Planning and Zoning Commission. As a result of the outcry, the commission voted to recommend that the council deny the permit.

Residents of Highlander Avenue in Hidden Hills live nearest to the substation site. They told the zoning commission that Empire moved into the rural neighborhood with heavy equipment and cleared trees from about three acres without any notification or explanation to any of them.

Ree Wells-Lewis expressed concerns about the scenic loss to the neighborhood when property next to hers is converted from woods to a power substation. She questioned the safety of living that close to an electrical substation.

Residents of The Highlands and Wildwood Acres expressed concerns about the noise of heavy equipment coming and going, as well as the wear and tear on their road. One main road serves all three subdivisions. To allay concerns about use of the neighborhood road, the company intends to build an access road from River Road to the south.

Jeff Brown, manager of substation engineering for Empire, told the zoning board that the substation is needed to boost and back up the power supply to the area. The power that will be required in the future in the area will exceed the capacity of the existing substation in the 2500 block of Connecticut Avenue, he said.

Penning’s letter to the residents reads: “As our city continues to recover from the impacts of the May 22 tornado and experiences continued growth in the southern part of Joplin, including the addition of the new Mercy Hospital, the need to construct an additional substation to ensure a reliable supply of electric energy now exists.”

The site is convenient because it is located under a large transmission line, which will reduce costs for building the substation because the line will not have to be extended, Empire said.

Neighbors asked why Empire did not talk to them first, before doing any clearing. Empire officials said the clearing work was done to allow for a survey of the property.

Wells-Lewis and another Highlander Avenue resident, Janet Kervian, said they had not received Empire’s letter on Tuesday. It is dated Monday.

“A couple of us heard it was in the planning,” Wells-Lewis said, noting that the open house is scheduled well after the Sept. 4 council meeting. “We did hear they were going to ask to table it. The vote may be tabled, but it may be necessary to be there to have an opportunity to talk to the City Council members about it.”

She said she believes Empire will show changes to the substation’s design and construction that the company hopes will make it more acceptable to the neighbors. “But I have not gotten any wind they are going to move it to another location,” which is her preference, Wells-Lewis said.

Kervian said an orange safety fence has been put up in the area, but no other work has been done since the zoning meeting.

“I certainly think a group meeting would be beneficial, if anything,” she said. “We’ve been waiting to hear from Empire about some kind of group hearing and information. I’ve heard of some concessions they are willing to make, by hearsay.” She said she has declined to have any one-on-one discussion with an Empire representative because she believes “we should speak as a group, not on an individual basis. I would listen to what they have to say, but I felt the best way is to have a group meeting.”

It would have been better if Empire had held the open house before it started the work, Kervian said. “But it’s said and done now,” she said. “We’ll go from there and see what they have to say about it.”



Comparison

THE PROPOSED SUBSTATION would be like one that has been enlarged at 26th Street and Moffet Avenue.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Former Webb City teacher charged with sexual contact with student

    A former Webb City High School choir teacher was charged Tuesday in Jasper County Circuit Court with having sexual contact with a student. According to a probable-cause statement, Carrie Njoroge, 30, of Oronogo, had consensual sexual intercourse with an 18-year-old male student in her office at Webb City High School during the evening hours of April 15.

    April 23, 2014

  • Carthage Council reorganizes

    The Carthage City Council has one new member after Paul McCoy was sworn in Tuesday as 2nd Ward councilman. Oaths of office also were repeated by Mayor Mike Harris, and Councilmen Lee Carlson, Jason Shelfer, Kirby Newport and Brady Beckham, all re-elected in city balloting on April 8. Councilman Dan Rife was re-elected as mayor pro tem.

    April 23, 2014

  • New Powell bridge to open today

    Great River Associates engineer Spencer Jones, of Springfield, is planning a final inspection of the new Powell bridge on Cowan Road off Route E, to be followed by a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 3 p.m. today. The initial cost for the bridge was put at $800,000.

    April 23, 2014

  • Mike Pound 2010.jpg Mike Pound: Spring a great time to visit Carver monument

    It occurred to me when the woman passed me — for the second time — as I ambled along the walking trail at George Washington Carver National Monument that perhaps I should step up the pace of my amble. The only problem is, the walking trail at the monument isn’t a place that necessarily inspires a stepped-up amble. To me, the Carver monument is a place to linger.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Season opens Friday for Carthage Art Walk

    Art, music and other activities are scheduled Friday when a new season of the Carthage Art Walk opens on the courthouse square. Displays and programs set for 6 to 9 p.m. will showcase galleries, artists, restaurants and shops. Special events will feature a timed painting and a demonstration of an 1896 printing press.

    April 23, 2014

  • Missouri lawmakers file three resolutions calling for impeaching governor

    While Gov. Jay Nixon was in Nevada, Mo., on Wednesday, a Missouri House panel led by Republicans began hearing arguments on three measures calling for impeaching him. Nixon has downplayed the proceedings as a legislative “publicity stunt.” One resolution, sponsored by Rep. Mike Moon, R-Ash Grove, is critical of Nixon for waiting several months to call special elections to fill three vacated House seats.

    April 23, 2014

  • r042314psumove2.jpg SLIDE SHOW: Moving day for biology and chemistry building at Pittsburg State

    They didn’t all go two-by-two, and the person in charge wasn’t named Noah, but nonetheless, critters of all shapes and sizes were on the move Wednesday. Students, volunteers and staff members helped Delia Lister, director of Nature Reach, relocate everything from a pair of prairie dogs to a vocal macaw named Charlie so that Heckert-Wells Hall — the biology and chemistry building where they are housed on the campus of Pittsburg State University — can undergo a $4.4 million transformation in the coming months.

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos 1 Slideshow

  • Respond With Love flower.jpg Joplin pays it forward with flowers; residents asked to return bulbs ‘fostered’ for other towns

    Suzan Morang’s front yard bloomed brightly last year from a colorful array of bulbs that she will happily pass on to someone else this year. Morang, 1207 Xenia Court, is a participant in America Responds With Love, a national nonprofit organization that distributes bulbs to disaster-stricken cities.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • 3M plant expansion to create 22 jobs

    An $18.7 million expansion at the 3M Co. manufacturing plant in Nevada will create 22 new jobs, a company official said Wednesday. “We started 43 years ago as a small manufacturer,” said Todd Cantrell, plant manager, in a meeting with employees. “We are now the largest 3M plant in the state of Missouri and one of the largest of all 3M plants.”

    April 23, 2014

  • Nixon: Tax-cut bill holds fatal flaw; area lawmakers say stance totally false

    Another year has brought yet another tax-cut fight between Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon and the Republican-led Missouri General Assembly, and on Tuesday, Nixon announced that he had found what he sees as a fatal flaw.

    April 22, 2014

Must Read
Sports
Photos


Facebook
Poll

A Missouri Senate committee has adopted a state budget provision that would prevent public colleges and universities from offering in-state tuition rates to students living in the country illegally. Do you agree with this?

Yes.
No.
     View Results
Opinion
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter