City wants power lines buried
The City of Edmonton is adding some firepower in the movement to have a proposed high voltage power line installed underground.
Council says they are standing behind both the position of Strathcona County and local citizens groups with respect to the controversial Heartland Transmission Project. The city says that officials must either bury the line or run it west of the city.
This is something the City will be arguing for at hearings on the project starting next week.
The route running between Edmonton and Sherwood Park has been identified as the preferred route. The province says the power line is needed to bring power from southern Alberta up to the industrial heartland.
The argument against burying the line has always been a sharp rise in cost. But the city argues it would only cost about $670 million dollars; an increase of $90 million dollars more than above ground.
Even though it would cost more, the City says residents have been clear about their concerns with the massive 24 storey towers running right by the city.
"There are issues with regards to concerns around health, with the visual impact, property values and the safety," said Councillor Karen Leibovici.
Members of the Responsible Electricity Trasnmisson for Alberta say they're excited to know their group has a big ally in their corner. John Kristensen says above ground power lines are a big risk.
"They're ugly," says Kristensen. "They cause all sorts of risks associated with leukemia and Alzheimer's, miscarriages, birth defects, you name it."
The Alberta Utilities Commission Hearings, starting next week, are expected to take five weeks. The city will make its pitch in early May.
Alta-Link hopes to start construction on the line this fall.
With files from CTV's Bill Fortier…