Rocky Mountain Power has agreed to provide Midway with multiple bids for the cost to bury transmission lines underground. Once Midway receives the bid, they’ll have two weeks to make a final decision. The power company is taking more steps to ensure that deadline remains firm.
The Midway City Council unanimously approved in December the joint conditional use permit submitted by Rocky Mountain Power and Heber Light & Power to construct new transmission lines to carry power through the southern portion of Midway. The permit’s approval was conditioned on a few items, the key one being that the lines be buried—if Midway can secure the funds to pay for the additional costs.
Now, Rocky Mountain Power is challenging the city’s conditions of approval. The initial hearing for the power company’s petition by the Utah Utility Facility Review Board is set for Tuesday.
Rocky Mountain Power spokesperson Spencer Hall says even though they’ve filed the complaint, the company is still following the requirements Midway laid out in their conditional use permit, and they desire for Midway and its residents to get the results they want.
Rocky Mountain Power will provide the city with multiple competitive bids from companies who would bury the transmission lines. They suspect the bids may come in near the end of February or early March. Per the agreement, once the bids are provided to the city, Midway will have two weeks to finalize funding for the project. Rocky Mountain Power is moving forward with their complaint to the facility review board to ensure the project will proceed by placing lines overhead if Midway is unable to secure the funds in the two-week window.
In their petition to the review board, Rocky Mountain Power claims the city council’s decision is invalid in part because the language of the permit is unclear as to whether Midway made a final decision on the application. Additionally, they say the city may not have entered into a written agreement to pay the actual excess costs, and even if they had, the city has waived the right to impose the condition that the project be constructed underground because the excess costs have not been paid. Rocky Mountain Power also argues the city has imposed conditions that exceed its authority.
Rocky Mountain Power initially filed their petition on January 15 but asked the commission to wait to schedule a hearing until a later date. On Feb. 18, the board scheduled the initial hearing for Tuesday at 1 p.m.
Read the original story at KPCW.org