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County gets updated on electrical transmission line
April 09, 2015 Jerry Purvis   

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Nebraska Public Power District is now negotiating with landowners for right-of-way acquisition to start its electrical transmission line project from Stegall to Scottsbluff.

NPPD’s Jedd Fisher updated county commissioners on the project earlier this week. He said the need for the project is reliability that extends beyond any one town or county. “This new transmission line will benefit the entire Panhandle.”

The proposed 115,000 volt transmission line runs approximately 23 miles from the existing Scottsbluff substation on the Beltline Highway to a new substation, to be built approximately five miles south of Stegall near the existing Stegall substation owned by Basin Electric Power Cooperative. There will be a short 345,000 volt transmission line built between NPPD’s new substation and Basin’s existing Stegall substation.

The line travels straight east, running south of Signal Butte, Robidoux Pass and Scotts Bluff National Monument. At the Lockwood Road area east of Gering, the line then travels north to the Scottsbluff substation.

The new line will also meet the North American Electric Reliability Corporation’s Reliability Standards for the western Nebraska area.
“Our initial discussions with landowners will allow us access to their property to do a survey and other preliminary activities as needed,” Fisher told the board. “The earlier we can begin that process the better.”

Easement agreements will pay landowners a one-time payment for access to the land to allow NPPD to maintain the transmission line and its towers. Compensation will be determined by an independent appraiser. The agreement won’t have any effect on the landowner’s current use of the land. NPPD will also design the line to accommodate center pivot irrigation units where they are used.

The line is expected to be in service by mid-2017.
Commissioners also accepted a $1,126,309 bid from Simon Construction for resurfacing a four-mile section of Sugar Factory Road from 27th Street in Scottsbluff to Lake Minatare Road. The original estimate for the project was in the $1.75 million range.
In other action, commissioners signed a funding application for the 2015-2016 budget for the county’s Handy Bus system. The $220,000 state grant will require a local match of $63,500.

The board also set the week of July 13 to hear property tax protests. And they nominated board chair Mark Masterton to serve on the interlocal regional economic development group.
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