ComEd is almost done gathering public input for a proposed transmission line in northern Illinois. The next step is getting approval from state regulators. Ahead of that decision, residents in one community hope the Illinois Commerce Commission endorses a route that doesn't affect their properties.
During a series of public hearings, the utility provider presented two desired routes for the project, which would cover parts of Ogle, DeKalb, Kane and DuPage Counties. The plan surfaced after an independent grid operator said more space was needed along overhead lines to deliver electricity across the region.
In Burlington, a small town in northern Kane County, some residents have placed signs in their yards stating opposition to the project. Several people say they're generally relieved the company has heard their concerns and has avoided a route that goes straight through town. But Veronica Cortina says she's still a little worried that some properties will end up being a little to close.
“I certainly don’t want it next to mine, but I have a feeling it’s going to go next someone’s [property], regardless of where they put it,” Cortina said.
ComEd spokesman Paul Callighan says they plan to tweak the proposed routes after reviewing public input. He says they're doing all they can to minimize the impact.
“You can’t avoid proximity to everyone,” Callighan said.
Callighan says that’s why they’re listening to what people in the affected area have to say. He says they also factored in environmental studies when designing the plan. Those concerned can still contact the utility through its website or by phone.
Com-Ed is required to draw up a primary route and an alternate route. The company hopes to submit the proposal to the ICC- by year's end. The commission will have 225 days to make a decision. If approved, Com-Ed says construction could be completed by 2017.