At the July 13th town council meeting an overview of PSNH’s new Shields Brook Substation was presented. With the survey close to completion representatives from PSNH had met earlier with Town Manager, Dave Caron, and Community Development Director, Andre Garron. Both Caron and Garron recommended that PSNH should present an overview of the proposed project, outline the time line, and how PSNH planned on working with Londonderry residents affected by the new transmission lines at the next Town Council meeting.
This image from Town of Londonderry GIS a very rough representation of the ROW surveys required to accurately represent this ROW and the actual impact.
PSNH plans to create a 2.5 mile corridor to connect a substation on Scobie Pond to the center of Derry distribution substation serving the region. The plans will clear a 100-foot wide corridor on a 45-year-old right-of-way easement. In May residents of Springwood Hills who are direct abutters to the plan received letters from PSNH that plans were moving forward on the Shields Brook Substation. Many of the residents were concerned that this would severely affect their neighborhood, and asked the Town Council for assistance.
In May Elizabeth LaRocca, Community Relations Manager for PSNH explained that because the project is in its earliest phase, PSNH has only sent letters to the direct abutters involved but is planning to arrange meetings with the neighborhood as is their normal policy. LaRocca explained that it would be logistically and financially prohibitive to disclose all of the preliminary environmental and engineering studies, but PSNH is still proactive about involving affected residents. Once the 100-foot right-of-way is officially determined the location can be staked out and a meeting would be prudent at that point. When asked by residents what legal action could be taken by the town, Dave Caron explained that the Town Attorney has advised that the Town has a very limited role in this situation, namely to issue pole permits and ensure that new lines and their sag points do not impeded established traffic routes.
LaRocca, and Russell Johnson, Field Engineering Manager for the southern region were in attendance at the July 13th Town Council meeting to give the overview about the transmission lines on Season Lane. Russell Johnson said, “PSNH has to ensure the infrastructure is in place to provide additional service to a growing area and to meet peak demand on their system.” Councilor Wagner asked Johnson if the southern tier of New Hampshire was reaching capacity. Johnson response was that, “PSNH will be exceeding capacity for their equipment shortly. “ Councilor Paul DiMarco asked if there were any alternatives like running the lines underground or a new route. Russell responded, “There are no alternatives, there are no transmission facilities available. The ROW’s were obtained in the 60’s with the intent of expansion.”
The following is a excerpt from a Union Leader story this week.
A wooden stick has been in the center of Bill Puddicombe’s back yard since he learned two months ago that PSNH planned to use a 45-year-old right-of-way to build power lines though his neighborhood.
The stick, Puddicombe said, lines up with orange markers set up by surveyors that stretch through the woods to the rear of his home. There’s only one line, Puddicombe said, suggesting the row is the center line of the right-of-way through the neighborhood.
Puddicombe is afraid the stakes represent the eventual row of utility poles PSNH wants to install, meaning all of the trees in his heavily wooded back yard may be cut down to clear a path for progress.
More than two-thirds of his property could be enveloped in the 100 foot right-of-way, he said.
“It would all go,” Puddicombe said. “It sure looks like my whole home is in the right-of-way, but the problem is I don’t know for sure. We just want to know what is going on.”
For the rest of the story read, “In Londonderry, residents wage power struggle with PSNH” by Alec O’meara
The plot plan to this lot was found on the Rockingham County Registry of Deeds site. You can search for your own home and check on any Right of Ways (ROW) that you may have not noticed during your closing. Visit the Rockingham County Registry of Deeds, you can search on your Name, Book and Page or Plan number.
PSNH is identifying the wetlands and will apply for needed permits this summer. They will do tree removal in the winter of 2009-2010. Their goal is to get in service by June of 2011. With the exception of viewsheads, the impacts will be limited to residents who have a PSNH ROW easement on their property. LaRocca will return to the Council to keep the Councilors updated on the project.
If anyone has questions regarding this project, they should direct them to LaRocca who will be point person for PSNH. Andre Garron, Community Development Director will be the liaison for the town. PSNH plans to try a one on one approach. The first step will to have personal conversations with each of the 10 abutters. PSNH will stake out the lines and then meet with the abutters and walk around with them.