A proposal for a power line corridor — from Pavo to Eason Crossing — was presented Tuesday to Thomas County commissioners.
Jeannine Hayes, Georgia Transmission Corp. (GTC) public affairs director, told commissioners some electrical lines serving Southwest Georgia were installed in 1927.
“Some of these lines are showing their ages, so to speak,” Hayes sad.
Georgia Transmission proposes to build a substation and install 13 miles of new electrical transmission lines in Thomas County.
Power poles would not be erected on public rights of way, but some rights of way will be needed, Hays said.
The $14 million project will get under way with a survey the first quarter of this year. Easement acquisition will begin in the second quarter.
Clearing of land is set for the first quarter of 2015, with service from the new lines to begin in third and fourth quarters of 2015.
GTC, a not-for-profit company, is owned and operated by Georgia’s 39 electric membership corporations and works with Georgia Power Co. and the Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia to plan electric grids.
Commissioner Mark NeSmith asked Hayes if county government had input into the route and whether commissioners have a say-so in the matter.
“This is the first I’m knowing about this. ... It sounds like you guys have it all routed out,” NeSmith told Hayes.
Nothing about the project is definite until after public meetings on the project are conducted, Hayes said, adding that 70 Thomas County property owners will be affected.
Apparently, NeSmith said, no one on the county commission has been contacted about the project.
Hayes said GTC officials would be happy to meet with commissioners, gather commissioners’ input and go over the project “piece by piece.”
Commissioner Wiley Grady asked what would happen if a farmer did not want a power line on his property.
“Do you have eminent domain?” Grady asked.
“We do,” Hayes responded. She said condemnation proceedings are necessary in 3 percent of GTC projects.
Hayes said GTC would work with property owners and ensure they receive fair prices for their land.
In response to a question by commission Chairman Moses Gross, Hayes said the board would be kept informed about the project.
Contacting of property owners along the transmission route will begin within days.
Senior reporter Patti Dozier can be reached at (229) 226-2400, ext. 1820.