The state’s Siting Council kicks off a series of public hearings Monday on an ambitious CL&P plan to install new, higher-voltage transmission lines through several towns in northeastern Connecticut, including Mansfield, a plan the town opposes.
The siting council, which has authority over where such lines are installed, will host the first hearing Monday at 11 a.m., at Central Connecticut State University's, Institute of Technology and Business Development in New Britain. The panel has called upon towns affected by the proposed project to testify, though Mansfield has decided to submit its April correspondence to the council opposing the project as part of the record in Monday's proceeding.
to install 345-kilovolt electric transmission lines in town, a proposal town officials said could change the town's overall landscape. The plan is part of a broader proposal by CL&P to install new lines from Rhode Island, through Connecticut and into Massachusettes.
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In a letter to the siting council, Mansfield Mayor Elizabeth Paterson stated that while the Town “recognized the need for the project itself,” it opposed the route through Mansfield citing “inadequate consideration to reasonable alternatives to the proposed project.”
Mansfield Town Manager Matthew Hart added: “In Mansfield, in our town, we think that the proposed project would negatively impact property values for budding businesses, private schools, child care facilities and homes as a result of the visual impact of the project.”
They and other town officials have argued that the proposed route of the transmission line project through Mansfield could force the closure of the Highland Ridge Golf Range and the Mount Hope Montessori School, and threaten other businesses and neighborhoods.
Should the siting council approve the proposed route, Paterson’s letter requested that CL&P work with Mansfield to mitigate the project's impact by relocating certain poles and structures and installing underground lines as alternative methods.
Additional hearings before the council are scheduled for June 5, 26, and 28. The council's schedule calls for it to make a decision on the proposal by early next year.
For more information on the project, visit www.NEEWSprojects.com.