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I-Team: Residents Fight to Keep Power Lines Out | News

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I-Team: Residents Fight to Keep Power Lines Out
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HENDERSON, Nev. -- As the summer unofficially gets underway this weekend, there is a buzz in backyards all across the Las Vegas valley. But in Henderson, some residents are worried about the buzz of giant new power lines that may be going up right next to their porches.

City leaders shut down NV Energy twice, and the power company is taking on Henderson in court in order to get it done. But the company says the cheapest way for everybody is to just replace existing lines with new, giant poles.

Right now, they are just an eyesore, but residents say anything more would just be unacceptable.

"We're going to drive trucks through the middle of this for a year and a half. It's insane," said neighbor Joel Kaplan.

Kaplan is one of the dozens of residents upset that NV Energy plans to rip out existing poles and put even larger ones in place, right along the backside of houses. NV Energy has been working for years to upgrade six miles of the lines to prepare for demand. Neighbors want the new lines to go around their developments.

"This is a nice neighborhood and we don't want it to run through anybody else's quote 'a lesser neighborhood,' but there were a lot of options that were on the table," said Kaplan.

The only problem is that any route around the houses could run four times the cost for NV Energy. That's money all ratepayers would see in their bills.

Patty McPherson-Luker actually created a scale model to show the difference between the old polls and the new ones. "110 to 145 foot tall steel structure polls," she said. "It just can't be happening."

She understand the extra costs, but worries about hits to property values and unknown health risks.

"We just ask them to do the right thing. Let's put those power lines in a safer, out of the way place," she said.

It's a struggle for power, when something as simple as six miles makes all the difference.

NN Energy did not want to be interviewed for this story, but did send a statement saying, "NV Energy's petition to the Clark County District Court is in line with our responsibility to provide for the energy needs of our customers in the most cost-effective and environmentally responsible manner; NV Energy feels the proposed route along the 70-year-old line and right-of-way is the least impactful to land owners and represents the lowest cost to our customers; and NV Energy has already received approval from Clark County for the portion of this line within their jurisdiction."

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