By MARK EVANS
STE. GENEVIEVE HERALD
Kyla Parker, one of three concerned Ste. Genevieve County citizens who had brought fears to the county commission about the proposed 19-mile Wabash Valley 69,000-volt power line, returned to the commission last Thursday.
Parker reported that she had spoken with the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO), which Wabash Valley Power Association (WVPA) and Citizens Electric Corporation (CEC) had claimed was funding the project.
Parker said she discovered that in order for MISO to fund a project, power would have to be available to be sold to outside entities – something Parker and her neighbors had been told would not be done with the project.
Parker said she emailed Scott Goodwin, principal expansion planner with MISO, who immediately replied and asked her to call him.
“I told him this is a $19 million project we keep getting told MISO is being paid for and I want to see the approval.”
She said any project funded by MISO would be “an open book.”
“You can go to their website and look at the agenda, look at the Power Points, everything,” Parker said.
She said Goodwin had never heard of the project and said he would do some research on it.
He later emailed Parker back, she said, “and basically said that they don’t have any record of it.”
“All along, they’ve been telling us that this was who was paying; yet they have no record of it,” Parker said.
Parker later remarked that there had just been “too many inconsistencies” to trust WVPA or CEC.
“How can you have faith in a company that lies to you so much?” Presiding Commissioner Garry Nelson asked.
Nelson also reiterated the commission’s support against any attempt to take property by imminent domain. He called the procedure “the legal name for stealing.”
Second District Commissioner Randy Ruzicka thanked Parker, who has worked with Heather and Travis Carron and Andrew Bartek and others in fighting the power line. “You’re clearly on a mission,” he told her.
SLABS GET ATTENTION
The commissioners discussed low water slabs with road and bridge foreman Scott Schmieder, after having inspected several on Wednesday.
It was agreed that one on Kocher Road is the No. 1 priority.
“It’s the one we want to attack first,” Nelson said.
There are also two on Cave Road that are also high priorities.