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Save The James

A letter from Robert C. Middaugh, James City County Administrator

Virginia Dominion Power has proposed two routes in James City County for the construction of a new transmission line. One route is in the northern part of the County and crosses the Chickahominy River, runs adjacent to Freedom Park and the two new schools on Jolly Pond Road, and then finally, runs directly through the residential community, Colonial Heritage. The other route is in the southern part of the County and crosses the James River from Surry at the Hog Island Wildlife Refuge and enters James City County slightly below the Carters Grove Plantation. Both routes end at a new electrical substation to be built in the southern part of James City County.image

The County has officially opposed both routes and believes strongly that other, less impactful options are available to Dominion Virginia Power. Because the two James City County routes or more appropriate alternatives would be spread over a very large customer base, rate increases as a means to cover the construction cost is not a significant issue in terms of determining a final route. Whichever route is ultimately selected, the rate impact is insignificant.

The County is currently participating in the required permitting process for Dominion Virginia Power to build their new transmission lines. The State agency that runs the permitting process is the State Corporation Commission (SCC). Any communication from citizens to the SCC expressing concern about the proposed routes would be very helpful.

If you would like to assist the County in opposing the proposed Dominion Virginia Power transmission routes, you may send a letter, email or sign a petition which expresses opposition to the southernmost route proposed by Dominion Virginia Power. Deadline for comments is January 3, 2013. Sharing your opinion with the SCC about the impact of either or both routes on the quality of life in James City County is sincerely appreciated. For your reference, the Save the James Alliance offers several ways to do this. The following links go to their web site with instructions:

What can I do ?

For both routes, the County believes that there are significant adverse impacts which cannot be mitigated. For each route the impacts are as follows:

Northern Route (Chickahominy)

  • significant visual and aesthetic damage to the pristine and historic Chickahominy River
  • significant damage to the cultural, historic and recreational resources at Freedom Park
  • aesthetic and potential health impacts associated with lines adjacent to an elementary school and middle school
  • visual, aesthetic, and property value diminution in the residential community, Colonial Heritage

Southern Route (James River)

  • significant visual and aesthetic damage to the historic James River
  • significant visual and aesthetic damage to the historic and cultural resources of James City County, including Carters Grove Plantation, Historic Jamestown Island, Jamestown Settlement, Colonial Williamsburg, and the National Park System, specifically the Colonial Parkway
  • significant damage to the tourism business associated with the region’s historic resources
  • diminution of value for the resort and private properties in Kingsmill

Additional information and comment submissions may be found on the SCC website: www.scc.virginia.gov/case/PublicComments.aspx

Respectfully,

Robert C. Middaugh
James City County Administrator
robert.middaugh@jamescitycountyva.gov

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