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The Kelker Substation on Academy Boulevard and Jetwing will soon expand

The Kelker Substation on Academy Boulevard and Jetwing will soon expand.
Posted at 8:19 PM, Feb 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-10 00:34:39-05

COLORADO SPRINGS  — The Kelker Substation on Academy Boulevard and Jetwing will soon expand.

"This is all a part of our overall sustainable energy plan. This is a necessary upgrade that has to occur in order for us to retire the Martin Drake plant by 2023," said Natalie Watts, Colorado Springs Utilities spokesperson.

However, neighbors close by aren't too thrilled.

Including Marco Cruz who lives right down the street from the substation.

"It's going to be an extreme eye soar, especially on this side of town where a key part of waking up is looking out and seeing the mountains, but now you will wake up and see power lines," said Cruz.

Construction will begin in the Fall of 2021 and is expected to be completed by 2025.

Watts says they will double the size of the current substation.

"This is just an exciting big first step we are taking. We have a lot of fun exciting projects we are working on right now," said Watts.

However, before any of that takes places, there is one other thing that needs to be resolved, a prairie dog mitigation.

There are currently over 100 prairie dog holes in the field.

Starting on Wednesday, the US Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services will be setting up traps to capture the "burrowing rodents."

According to Watts, when captured, the animals will be euthanized and donated to the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center to be used as food for injured wildlife.

Something that didn't sit well with Cruz.

"I like them, my kids like seeing them."

However, Watts says CSU is more than willing to answer questions, and help neighbors who might be worried about the new development.

"We want to be very responsive for what the community wants."

You can learn more about the project here.

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