Commissioners call for meeting with Xcel, landowners to discuss power line setbacks

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Published Friday, February 25, 2022
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by Chris Sorensen

Following a request by property owners earlier in the month, the Kiowa County Commissioners have asked for a meeting with representatives of Xcel Energy to discuss a 10-mile setback from the Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site in routing a proposed power transmission line.

Community members met with Commissioners Donald Oswald, Howard Roberson, and Mike Lening February 10 to express concerns about impacts to property rights if power transmission lines and wind turbines cannot be built within 10 miles of the Sand Creek site to preserve the view shed - intended to minimize or eliminate new modern structures from the area visible from the site.

In their letter to Xcel Energy, the commissioners expressed support for renewable energy projects, along with disappointment about the setback, equating it to a "taking" of personal property rights from neighboring landowners. The commissioners recommended a discussion, tentatively set for March 10, with Xcel Energy and renewable energy producers about concerns raised by landowners, the Sand Creek site, Tribal members, and the United States Department of the Interior, to reach a compromise and more clearly define what developments can be made on private properties. 

Xcel Energy has been holding a series of public meetings across eastern Colorado since late 2021 to explain the potential locations for electric transmission lines and substations. The 345-kilovolt transmission lines are expected to cross up to a dozen counties and include up to four new substations, along with expansion for four existing substations. Construction could begin as soon as next year. The project is outlined at www.ColoradosPowerPathway.com

The March 10 meeting will be held at the Kiowa County Courthouse in Eads beginning at 3:00 p.m. A video conference link will be available at https://meet.goto.com/409126405, and a phone bridge will also be available by calling 786-535-3211 and entering meeting code 409-126-405.

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The Kiowa County Press is an independent newspaper published in Eads, Kiowa County, Colorado, and to the world at KiowaCountyPress.net.