BAR HARBOR — Emera Maine power representatives got an earful May 1 about their plans to run new power lines down Knox and Crooked roads. Some Town Hill residents and others urged routing the new lines down Route 3 instead.
More than two dozen people turned out for the informational meeting at the Town Hill Community Hall. Many expressed concern that the planned project would result in major tree cutting on Crooked and Knox roads, in a fashion similar to the way Bangor Hydro-Electric Co. cleared the way for new power lines on Route 102 in 2011.
The lot cutting that the company recently oversaw on Woodbury Road, where it is set to build a new power substation, also was raised as a matter of concern by some who spoke. The Woodbury Road work raised concerns that the company would approach Crooked and Knox roads with a heavy hand as well.
“All of the trees in our front yard are within 10 feet of the lines,” Knox Road resident Dessa Dancy said. Of even more concern, she asked, “What are you going to do to Crooked Road and the foliage and everything that’s beautiful on that road?”
Emera representatives said the project would have much less of an impact than the project to string new lines along Route 102 in 2011. In that instance, because of Maine Department of Transportation requirements, the new poles had to be set back 10 feet from where the old ones were located. This entailed the cutting of many mature trees, which left some Town Hill residents upset.
In the current proposed project, the new transmission network running from Burns Corner, up Knox Road and down Crooked Road to Route 3 would utilize only a few new pole locations, engineer Nathan Cota said. Because the lines are already maintained as they are, there should be very little cutting that needs to happen, he said. The only new clearance will be for space above the current lines. The planned new poles are 10 feet taller than the current ones.