LIVINGSTON, N.Y. – Hundreds on Livington residents came to a meeting on Friday to hear more about a plan to put massive power lines throughout Columbia and Dutchess counties.
"We are not opposed to upgrading the grid," said Dutchess County resident, Sharon Kotler, who would prefer an underground grid. "We are opposed to is using 20th century technology to solve 21st century problems."
"The farmers are being abused by eminent domain and our counties are continuing to deteriorate," she said.
Hundreds of others agreed Friday, as community members signed petitions and took closer looks at some of the future plans that are part of the more than 100-mile-long upgrade of the Upstate power grid.
"The legal battle is grand, but I'm optimistic," said farmer and Livingston city councilman Will Yandik. "This doesn't just impact immediate landowners. This isn’t just an upstate or downstate issue."
Also in the crowd Friday, a spokesperson for the New York Public Service Commission, saying at this point in the process it is all about listening to this community about its concerns.
"It is very important for us to hear what the public has to say and to really get a complete understanding of how we can help and get them comfortable with the process that we are going through right now," said commission spokesperson Jim Denn, who says this upgrade needs to be done.
"We are looking at new and innovative proposals to reduce congestions that exist on the grid today, which is causing rate payers hundreds of millions in costs because of congestion."
Denn says once they agree on a company to do the work, the new power lines would most likely be installed in 2015.