Some Bixby Residents Oppose Plan To Put Large Power Lines On Their Land

Amy Kauffman, News on 6

Some Bixby residents are pushing back against a project that would bring huge power lines to their properties.

At a city council meeting on Tuesday, PSO said it would increase tax revenue and create new jobs.

But landowners say that would come at a big cost to them.

Several landowners came forward saying it would impact their way of life and devalue their property.

Councilors are having the city attorney draft a proposal to oppose the wind project coming through this area.

Kenneth Kelley says he and his wife received a letter last week saying a power line would be going right through their property.

“It’s a beautiful countryside. It’s huge red oaks that’s been here before this country was ever here. Deer, quail, it’s all there,” he said. “It’s everything that a country guy like myself would want.”

Kelley and several other landowners went before the Bixby City Council to express their concern with the project.

“Nobody asked for this. Nobody here wants it,” said Maurice Storm.

“You’re going to bring in the biggest power lines west of the Mississippi,” declared Greg Ganzkow.

The Wind Catcher Energy Connection is a wind farm in the panhandle that would move energy to Tulsa and beyond.

“For us, there are 1.2 million customers in Oklahoma that will see a benefit, a price decrease that will amount to $2 billion over 25 years,” said John Harper, Vice President for External Affairs at PSO. “That’s a huge advantage for us and we believe it’s a huge advantage for economic development in the state.”

PSO says they are routing through Bixby because they need to connect with one of the substations around Tulsa. They say they are still exploring other routes, but are running out of time.

Mayor John Easton and other city officials are worried that this would stunt future growth in the City of Bixby.

“You’re trying to put this in the highest growth area in one of the fastest cities in Oklahoma,” said Vice Mayor Brian Guthrie.

Mayor Easton says, “you’re building on prime property. How much do you value how much you’re going to devalue their property?”

Landowners say they’ve been reaching out to the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, which still needs to approve the route.