LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — Residents of a Lafayette neighborhood are filing a petition to prevent LUS from putting up high-voltage transmission lines near their homes.
LUS leaders met with the residents about their concerns in a meeting Wednesday. Some of the biggest concerns about LUS building the transmission lines are their property values, hurricane season and their overall safety.
Wayne Wilson, a resident of East Butcher Switch Road, said he does not want the power lines on his street.
“The neighborhood is very concerned about it,” Wilson said. “We don’t want the voltage. We don’t want the poles.”
At the meeting, the LUS Director of Utilities Jeff Stewart explained the plans to place high voltage transmission lines along the route.
The problem is it’s near people’s homes.
Karen Fokes, another resident, said she worries about the health problems each pole carrying about 69,000 volts of electricity could cause.
“My mother wears a pacemaker and has a device that helps monitor her pacemaker. I’m not sure that it’s not going to affect her,” she said.
“I just think it’s terrible,” Karen Fokes’ mother, Velma, added. “I can’t understand why LUS doesn’t realize what a problem this is for us and how unhappy we are about it.”
Stewart said LUS has had plans to put up these transmission lines for over 10 years. This frustrated many residents, who say they knew nothing about this project.
“Never, ever, have we received one letter in all this time about this project, not one,” one woman said during the meeting.
Other residents say LUS has been threatening legal action for not being on board with the project.
One woman, who didn’t want to comment on camera, showed us a letter from LUS threatening to expropriate parts of her land after she says she declined to give LUS the rights to her property.
Despite the meeting with residents, the Stewart says LUS is still moving forward with the project.
Patrick Lewis, Lafayette City Councilman of District 1, said he plans to take the residents’ concerns to LCG.
“After listening to the engineer, the Director of Utilities, he says there’s not much we can do,” Lewis said. “But again, I will reach out to the administration to see if there’s something we can do.”
Meanwhile, many residents are signing a petition to stop this and some say they will file a class-action lawsuit.