Hearings scheduled on proposed south Mpls. power linesby Stephanie Hemphill, Minnesota Public Radio
Minneapolis — People will have a chance to comment Monday and Tuesday on plans for a high-voltage transmission line in south Minneapolis.
Xcel Energy wants to build two transmission lines and two substations between Hiawatha Avenue and Oakland Avenue to serve the growing Midtown District in South Minneapolis.
Neighborhood groups recommend an underground line under 28th Street; they oppose overhead lines along the Greenway bike trail. But underground lines would cost about five times as much as overhead.
President of the Seward Neighborhood Group, Sheldon Mains, said all of Xcel's customers should help pay the added expense, to mitigate the impact on the neighborhood.
"We think that dealing with the fact that it's already built up is something that should be paid for by all the ratepayers," Mains said.
Xcel's Betty Mirzayi said there's no clear rule about who should pay the extra cost.
"We don't really have lot of experience in building new facilities through a densely-populated area and knowing how the cost recovery should work," Mirzayi said. "So this is an area we're expecting the PUC to weigh in on and ultimately make the determination."
The hearings are Monday and Tuesday, at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. at Plaza Verde on Lake Street.