Friday, February 3, 2023

Argyle approves resolution opposing transmission line

The Argyle Town Council on Monday unanimously approved a resolution to formally oppose proposed routes for a disruptive transmission line through town.

Map of proposed routes for Oncor’s proposed Ramhorn Hill-Dunham 345 kV Transmission Line Project.

Oncor Electricity Delivery Company recently informed area residents that it is proposing a new transmission line from a new switch outside Rhome, in Wise County, to a proposed switch southeast of the FM 1171/Hwy 377 interchange in west Flower Mound. The company is considering many different routes for this transmission line — dubbed the Ramhorn Hill-Dunham 345 kV Transmission Line Project — including some that would cut through developed areas in Argyle and Northlake. Residents said they were concerned about the impact a transmission line would have on their property values, the environment and “prudent avoidance of EMF exposure.”

Leaders in Argyle and Northlake have been working together to do what they can to discourage the most disruptive routes through their towns. They came up with their own route, farther south and more direct than all of Oncor’s proposed routes, and they’re asking U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess, TX-26, and both U.S. senators from Texas to ask the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for permission for the transmission line to go through part of the Corps land just west of Lake Grapevine. During Monday’s meeting, Mayor Bryan Livingston said that after initial talks, the Corps is open to the idea of the line going through its land, but the time crunch may be an issue in getting it done.

On Monday night, the council unanimously approved a resolution stating “in the strongest language possible, the Town of Argyle opposes the proposed alignments of the Transmission Line through the Town.” The resolution also states that the town will formally and fully support a southern route for the transmission line, and authorizes the town administrator “to take all necessary action, including the expenditure of funds,” to oppose the routes through town.

In a separate motion, the Town Council on Monday also authorized the mayor and town administrator to hire an attorney and/or public relations firm to help the town in its opposition to the transmission line routes.

Oncor representatives attended the meeting to provide more information about the transmission line. They said the project is deemed “critical to reliability,” meaning it will be fast-tracked into service. Oncor plans to file the project with the Public Utility Commission of Texas in May, and it will then go through a six-month litigated process, after which it will be known which route will be built. Construction wouldn’t be complete until 2025 at the earliest.

During the meeting, council members asked Oncor lots of questions, and then allowed residents to come up and ask the Oncor representatives their own questions. This was quickly ended because residents kept asking questions that Oncor couldn’t answer or had already answered.

Residents can voice their opposition or support for the proposed transmission line routes by filling out the Oncor questionnaire forms here by Jan. 20.

Mark Smith
Mark Smith
Mark Smith is the Digital Editor of The Cross Timbers Gazette.

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