County settles on Heartland Transmission Project message

By MorinvilleNews.com Staff

Sturgeon County – Less than a month after committing up to $400,000 to participate in the Alberta Utility Commission’s (AUC) quasi-judicial hearing set to take place in the spring of 2011, Sturgeon County Council voted 5-1 Tuesday morning in favour of accepting recommendations as to what its consistent message will be to residents and stakeholders.

Council’s message will be based on the principles of the County’s upcoming intervention without delving into specifics and be general enough to appeal to all audiences.

At the core of the message is that Sturgeon County does not make reference to any particular routing path. Rather, the County will take the position that “transmission routing must be determined on the basis of sound long-term planning.”

With respect to the need for the line, something opponents of the project have been vocal about, the County’s position is that it recognizes the need for safe, secure and affordable electricity supply in order to meet Alberta’s present and future needs, but it shouldn’t jeopardize the viability of current or future commercial and industrial interests.

On the matter of property rights, the County holds that landowner rights need to be respected and utility costs must be shared equally by the entire public so that the landowner does not bear the majority of the costs.

Council will also advocate sensible long-term land use planning principles that would have the AUC co-locate critical transmission infrastructure with other major transportation and utility projects in planned corridors.

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