If CenterPoint Energy’s plans come to fruition a new 345 kV transmission line could soon cut through Austin County, providing electric transmission service to Harris County.
The double-circuit transmission line would provide electric transmission service from LCRA’s Fayetteville Substation in Fayette County through Austin, Colorado and Waller counties to Harris County.
Two of the four preliminary segments runs through Cat Spring, and Precinct 3 Commissioner Randy Reichardt, whose precinct covers that area, said he’s already heard quite a bit of opposition against the idea.
“Since (CenterPoint Energy) power was out when (Hurricane Ike) hit, the (Texas Public Utility Commission) is looking to add on to the grid, at least that’s my understanding,” Reichardt said of the push behind the new transmission line. “It’s because of all the power outages that the hurricane caused and then the brown and black outs CenterPoint had about a month or so ago.”
He was quick to point out Austin County and its leaders have no control over what happens.
Three public meetings are slated for this month on the issue, with the first planned for tonight from 5 to 8 p.m. at St. John’s the Baptist Catholic Church, 205 East Bell Street in Fayetteville.
The second meeting will be held Monday, May 9 at Royal Junior High School, 2520 Durkin Road between Pattison and Brookshire off of FM 359.
A third meeting is slated for Tuesday, May 10 at Bellville United Methodist Church, 234 South Masonic Street in Bellville.
According to CenterPoint, the purpose of the meetings is to gather input from the public on the routing of the new transmission line. The company said the new line is needed to provide service to its Zenith Substation in Harris County.
A map on page 12 of this week’s paper shows a map of the proposed route.
The company plans to share information with the public at the come and go meetings, and residents will have a chance to make comments, ask questions and express any concerns they have about the routes under consideration.
Representatives from CenterPoint Energy and the consulting firm Atkins North America will be present.
“I will be at the Bellville meeting to see what’s going on,” Reichardt said. “There seems to be three proposed routes so I guess they’re going to talk about that at the meeting.”
Already, a local movement against the idea has taken form in Cat Spring.
SaveCatSpring.com is a grass roots organization recently formed to preserve the “historic significance and natural beauty” of the area.
CenterPoint Energy mailed letters to residents who own property within 500 feet of one of the preliminary transmission line segments last month, in accordance with state law.
Questions regarding the public meetings should be directed to Wes Padgett at (713) 207-2189.