PUEBLO — Neighbors in Pueblo West are taking Pueblo County to court seeking a review from a district court of the decision to allow Black Hills Energy to build a transmission line above ground from Pueblo West to Cañon City.
The controversial project has been a subject of conversation for more than a year, with multiple county commissioner meetings to discuss the issue.
Homeowners argued an above-ground project would ruin the view and impact property values. Black Hills Energy argued the project is necessary in order to provide adequate service to the region.
"All we're asking is that we be compensated for the loss of property value or they put it underground where they should put it anyway," explains resident Melvin Manrose.
A decision made by Pueblo County Commissioners early this month allowed the company to build the transmission line overhead instead of underground. The lines will cover a 39-mile long run of the Cañon West Reliability Project in order to meet power demand and lower costs for customers, according to Black Hills Energy.
The plan includes transmission lines between three new substations in Pueblo West, Penrose, and Cañon City. The stretch through Pueblo West is a little more than two miles north of Highway 50. Between 60-80 poles would be put across Pueblo West to reach Fremont County.
Pueblo County has not responded to a request for comment on the effort to have a judicial intervention on behalf of property owners.
A statement from Black Hills Energy stands by the prior comments on the cost of underground transmission lines significantly increasing the cost of the project and having an impact on customer rates.