Concerns over BPA line raised at informal Castle Rock meeting

CASTLE ROCK — Area landowners said Tuesday they’re worried about the fate of their property now that the Bonneville Power Administration identified a preferred route for a high-voltage transmission line through Southwest Washington.

About 60 people attended a BPA meeting at Castle Rock Elementary School where agency employees presented their preferred route for a 79-mile line from Castle Rock to Troutdale, Ore. It was the first of six informal meetings the BPA has scheduled to discuss the route it selected in mid-November.

BPA officials said they’re proposing to build a substation at Casey Road northwest of Castle Rock at one end of the 500-kilovolt line, which would run mostly through the forestlands of eastern Cowlitz and Clark counties before ending at Troutdale, Ore.

According to the agency, 327 homes are within 500 feet of the route. Dozens of others own vacant property along the route and remain in a holding pattern until 2014, when the BPA makes its final decision on building the line.

Tessie Cherrington said she and her husband have put off building a home on the 13 acres on Headquarters Road they received from his parents a few years ago.

The worst part has been “just sitting and waiting. You can’t do a whole lot until 2014,” said Cherrington, who lives on West Side Highway.

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