Burlington Free Press
October 01, 2004

Ad-hoc group plans potluck, update on lines

By Michelle Zimmerman

SHELBURNE -- A town committee created to analyze the proposed Vermont Electric Power Co. line upgrade will hold a dessert potluck and information session Oct. 8.

The meeting will provide an update on the Northwest Reliability Project case before the state's Public Service Board and information on the Selectboard's position, said committee vice-chairwoman Dorothea Penar.

Speakers include architect Gail Henderson King, who will discuss aesthetic impacts of the transmission line upgrade; a representative from the Shelburne Museum who will discuss the museum's position; and a speaker who will talk about potential health impacts.

The committee was created last year by the Shelburne Selectboard and was charged not with questioning the need for the expansion, but with studying the plan, identifying siting difficulties and providing possible alternatives.

Based on the group's findings, the Selectboard has suggested to VELCO areas where the height of the poles is an issue and indicated areas where the line should be buried, Penar said.

The town of Shelburne, and other towns and property owners, are intervenors in the case.

The group has paid for all expert testimony presented to the Public Service Board to date, said Penar, but will continue to raise funds for future needs. The town has covered attorney fees, she said.

The committee will encourage meeting participants to continue fund-raising efforts and write letters to Gov. Jim Douglas in support of Shelburne's position.

The potluck and information session will be held at 7 p.m. Oct. 8 at the former Shelburne Town Hall.