Sunday, February 14, 2016

Update: NIPSCO planning new lines, seeking input in Nappanee and Topeka

Posted on Jan. 31, 2013 at 12:00 a.m. | Updated on Jan. 31, 2013 at 2:48 p.m.

Due to a NIPSCO error, the time of the Nappanee meeting was incorrect in the first version of this story. The correct time is listed below.

Justin Leighty

NAPPANEE — The Northern Indiana Public Service Company wants public input on a project that may run new electric transmission lines across southern Elkhart County by 2018.

They’ll hold the first public meetings next week, and plan to follow up with more this summer once they have a more specific route planned for the new transmission lines, which will connect this area to the wind farm in Benton and White counties.

Two meetings in this area will happen next week:

Ÿ Tiffany’s Restaurant, 414 E. Lake St., Topeka, 3 to 7 p.m. Monday.

Ÿ Nappanee Elementary School cafeteria, 755 E. Van Buren St., 3:30 to 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Both meetings will be in an open-house format, with project team members there to answer questions, explain the maps and give an overview of the project, that will run transmission lines from their Reynolds substation in White County to Burr Oak southwest of Plymouth to a substation near Topeka. The most direct route would run east of Nappanee, south of New Paris and Benton, and on the south side of Millersburg, though a variety of factors will go into the selection of the exact route, according to the company.

NIPSCO plans to select a final route after this summer’s meetings, and plans to avoid cities and towns when construction begins in 2015.

“Our commitment is to hire local labor first. Many Indiana residents, businesses and workers will benefit from the project’s purchase of construction materials (such as gravel and concrete) and the spending power of those employed by the project,” NIPSCO said on the project’s website.

The project will bring 130-foot-tall towers to the area, and the company will buy easements from property owners. Those easements will allow the land to continue to be used, such as for farming.