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Electric Utilities to Decide on New Power Line

Three electric utilities are scheduled to decide the route this month for a planned new power line through five north central Indiana counties. One of the possible routes is sparking objections.

NIPSCO, Duke Energy and American Electric Power are partnering on a required power-grid upgrade, stretching 70 miles from Duke's substation in Greentown east of Kokomo to NIPSCO's substation in Reynolds, in White County. The line would also pass through Miami, Cass and Carroll Counties.

The Miami County commissioners have passed a resolution urging against one possible route which passes close to Grissom Air Force Base -- too close, according to them. Commissioners chairman Josh Francis says it would prevent the long-planned addition of a second runway the county badly needs for redevelopment of the base. He notes a single runway means air traffic into the base is paralyzed if that runway needs repairs.

Francis says the winding route would also be more disruptive to farmland along the way than the other options.

NIPSCO spokesman Nick Meyer says the utilities hadn't been aware of the Grissom issue until the commissioners raised it. But he says their objections will be just one of several factors taken into account.

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