Mayor of Garfield, Arkansas
From the time the SWEPCO notified the City of Garfield of the proposed new 345kV transmission line from their Shipe Road station to their proposed new Kings River station, we have been actively involved in trying to bring this project to a halt in its passage through the center of our city.
Our primary focus was based on the impact Route 33 (SWEPCO’s preferred route) would have on our community. It has been our stance that Route 33 will negatively impact our elementary school students due to the exposure to the radiation of these extreme high voltage lines, within 100’s of feet of our school and playgrounds.
We would also see much devastation of Garfield’s financial future in our proposed commercial district (by SWEPCO 345k transmission lines paralleling the new route of State Highway 62), and causing a huge easement that precludes businesses building adjacent to the new highway. We believe tourism, and the business we get from that industry, will, subsequently, be greatly affected. Their proposed route also cuts our newest, largest, and most expensive residential subdivision to be literally ‘cut in half’, devaluing the homes and denuding the forest areas of our best residential areas.
While we have been focused on the proposed route that we see as such a detriment to our community, we have supported Save the Ozarks efforts and applaud the results achieved thus far.
We, as a City, have the duty to preserve our community and protect our citizens. We have the foundation to stand upon that allows us to broaden our horizons as the need for this project has now been questioned by Arkansas Public Utilities Commission, largely due to Save the Ozarks diligent work in proving this line is not needed.
Knowing of this finding, and beyond even our opposition to consideration of Route 33, we cannot help but encourage an entire dismissal of any consideration for the proposed, yet unneeded, 345k Transmission line construction. Such consideration, of a ‘for profit’ corporate venture like this project, should never be considered over the rights, wishes, and well-being of the affected citizenry.