Youngstown leaders react to FirstEnergy's revised power line project
FirstEnergy is out with a new iteration of its proposed power line project in downtown Youngstown.
Instead of the lines being set up near the Youngstown Foundation Amphitheater and Covelli Centre, they would sit across the Mahoning River. The company would also build on existing poles and infrastructure to minimize the aesthetic impact. The Ohio Power Siting Board nixed the initial plan after stiff opposition from the city and people who live there.
"We incorporated that feedback and came up with some routes that addressed that and are responsive to that feedback," said FirstEnergy spokesman Willian Boye.
Many city leaders agree, including Mayor Brown.
He wanted no impacts on the amphitheater, a big downtown investment.
"It was going to impede on our economic opportunities and the amphitheater and Covelli Centre. This one will not," Brown said.
"Number one, nobody that is pleased with it is living on that street," says first ward councilman Julius Oliver, who lives on a street right next to the new proposed location for the power lines. Besides obvious concerns for his young family, he's still worried about other impacts.
"The path is better. It doesn't tear up our park or our initial investment, but it does impede, I believe, further development to a residential area now that is in the process of being developed," Oliver explained. He also laid out concerns about health dangers from the power lines' emissions.
Oliver tells 21 News FirstEnergy will hold more public meetings to get feedback on the new plan.
It'll once again be up to the Ohio Power Siting Board, along with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, to give the go-ahead.
If they do, construction would likely start in 2025.