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Monticello homeowners fight NextEra powerline project

Posted at 6:10 PM, Jul 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-30 04:41:57-04

MONTICELLO, Fla. (WTXL) — Homeowners in Monticello aren't giving up the fight to keep power company NextEra from putting a power line transmission in their neighborhood.

The neighbors are meeting now to discuss what they need to do to stop NextEra. The people who live in Thompson Valley say that they won't stay silent and they'll do whatever they have to do to preserve the neighborhood.

NextEra is running a 176 mile long transmission line from Jackson County to Columbia County. The goal is to strengthen the power connection for homes in that path, so that things like power outages are less likely.

But the people who will be directly impacted say that they were never consulted about those plans. They also say that the last thing they want are 90 foot poles going up right in their backyards.

The Jefferson County Commission has a resolution on the table to move the proposed line. That resolution would move the line away from most of the impacted neighborhoods.

"I don't want to get towards demand but strongly suggest that let's really think about this and lets affect the fewest property owners as possible," said Parish Barwick, Jefferson County Coordinator. "Because getting to point A to point B, we're going to get to point A and point B one way or the other and why not try to help citizens or nor harm them as much as we can."

The resolution hasn't officially been presented to NextEra yet, but either way, the people over in Thompson Valley are still impacted.

The goal is to come up with a plan to present to the commission that will help preserve the historic community.