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Northern Pass open house held for Concord, Canterbury residents

  • Rep. Susan Ford, an Easton Democrat wearing orange in opposition to the Northern Pass project, hands out her business card to Jeff Stevens, of Strafford wearing green in support of the project, inviting him and other supporters of the Northern Pass project from IBEW Local 104, Bryan Dionne, of Derry, Steve Bullock, of Candia, and Charlie Rand, of Fremont, to visit the North Country and the proposed route for powerlines. Opponents and supporters gathered outside the Holiday Inn in Concord on Wednesday evening as representatives of the Northern Pass project hosted an informational session focused towards Concord and Canterbury residents about plans for the project in the area.<br/><br/>JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff

    Rep. Susan Ford, an Easton Democrat wearing orange in opposition to the Northern Pass project, hands out her business card to Jeff Stevens, of Strafford wearing green in support of the project, inviting him and other supporters of the Northern Pass project from IBEW Local 104, Bryan Dionne, of Derry, Steve Bullock, of Candia, and Charlie Rand, of Fremont, to visit the North Country and the proposed route for powerlines. Opponents and supporters gathered outside the Holiday Inn in Concord on Wednesday evening as representatives of the Northern Pass project hosted an informational session focused towards Concord and Canterbury residents about plans for the project in the area.

    JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff

  • Carol Harris, of Chichester, watches an informational video set up by representatives of the Northern Pass project during an informational session for area residents about plans for the project in Concord on Wednesday evening, September 4, 2013. Harris said she is concerned for the project's affect on the state, particularly the health of residents who live near the proposed route of the electrical towers.<br/><br/>JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff

    Carol Harris, of Chichester, watches an informational video set up by representatives of the Northern Pass project during an informational session for area residents about plans for the project in Concord on Wednesday evening, September 4, 2013. Harris said she is concerned for the project's affect on the state, particularly the health of residents who live near the proposed route of the electrical towers.

    JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff

  • Rep. Susan Ford, an Easton Democrat wearing orange in opposition to the Northern Pass project, hands out her business card to Jeff Stevens, of Strafford wearing green in support of the project, inviting him and other supporters of the Northern Pass project from IBEW Local 104, Bryan Dionne, of Derry, Steve Bullock, of Candia, and Charlie Rand, of Fremont, to visit the North Country and the proposed route for powerlines. Opponents and supporters gathered outside the Holiday Inn in Concord on Wednesday evening as representatives of the Northern Pass project hosted an informational session focused towards Concord and Canterbury residents about plans for the project in the area.<br/><br/>JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff

    Rep. Susan Ford, an Easton Democrat wearing orange in opposition to the Northern Pass project, hands out her business card to Jeff Stevens, of Strafford wearing green in support of the project, inviting him and other supporters of the Northern Pass project from IBEW Local 104, Bryan Dionne, of Derry, Steve Bullock, of Candia, and Charlie Rand, of Fremont, to visit the North Country and the proposed route for powerlines. Opponents and supporters gathered outside the Holiday Inn in Concord on Wednesday evening as representatives of the Northern Pass project hosted an informational session focused towards Concord and Canterbury residents about plans for the project in the area.

    JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff

  • Rep. Susan Ford, an Easton Democrat wearing orange in opposition to the Northern Pass project, hands out her business card to Jeff Stevens, of Strafford wearing green in support of the project, inviting him and other supporters of the Northern Pass project from IBEW Local 104, Bryan Dionne, of Derry, Steve Bullock, of Candia, and Charlie Rand, of Fremont, to visit the North Country and the proposed route for powerlines. Opponents and supporters gathered outside the Holiday Inn in Concord on Wednesday evening as representatives of the Northern Pass project hosted an informational session focused towards Concord and Canterbury residents about plans for the project in the area.<br/><br/>JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff
  • Carol Harris, of Chichester, watches an informational video set up by representatives of the Northern Pass project during an informational session for area residents about plans for the project in Concord on Wednesday evening, September 4, 2013. Harris said she is concerned for the project's affect on the state, particularly the health of residents who live near the proposed route of the electrical towers.<br/><br/>JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff
  • Rep. Susan Ford, an Easton Democrat wearing orange in opposition to the Northern Pass project, hands out her business card to Jeff Stevens, of Strafford wearing green in support of the project, inviting him and other supporters of the Northern Pass project from IBEW Local 104, Bryan Dionne, of Derry, Steve Bullock, of Candia, and Charlie Rand, of Fremont, to visit the North Country and the proposed route for powerlines. Opponents and supporters gathered outside the Holiday Inn in Concord on Wednesday evening as representatives of the Northern Pass project hosted an informational session focused towards Concord and Canterbury residents about plans for the project in the area.<br/><br/>JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff

More than 90 people came through Northern Pass’s open house in Concord within the first hour last night, many of them eager to see how close the proposed hydropower line from Canada would come to their properties.

The answer was a little too close for John Reardon, who lives in Loudon but is moving into a home he owns in Concord on Curtisville Road. A 105-foot transmission tower would sit directly behind his home if the project receives federal and state approval.

“They could bury (the line), but that’s not in their economic interest,” Reardon said. He opposes the project on other grounds, too, he said.

“It is not benefiting New Hampshire,” he said. “We are just a means for getting (the power) to their market” outside the state.

Northern Pass officials have held similar informational sessions in northern New Hampshire in the last month, but this was the first for people in Canterbury and Concord, two local communities along the proposed 187-mile line. Spokesman Martin Murray said additional open houses will be scheduled for Northfield, Allenstown, Pembroke and Deerfield, which also are on the proposed line.

In this area, the proposed line would run with the existing power line corridor that is already home to Public Service of New Hampshire lines. But in many cases, the new hydropower line is expected to be much taller than existing utility poles, according to Northern Pass’s website.

Last night’s attendees included Sen. Sylvia Larsen, a Concord Democrat, and local state representatives.

The open house sessions do not include a formal presentation from Northern Pass officials. Instead, attendees move between stations where Northern Pass engineers or experts are available to answer questions. Last night, stations included one about the burial of transmission lines and another on the electromagnetic field around power lines.

The most popular stop, though, was at computers that allowed visitors to pull up their address on a satellite map and find out how close they would be to new towers and how high those towers would be. The map, however, did not give visitors an actual simulation of what they’d see if they looked at the proposed line.

A Concord man who didn’t want to give his name left the session with some numbers that bothered him. He lives on Portsmouth Street and learned that the proposed towers would stand between 84 feet and 120 feet near his home.

He doesn’t believe enough property owners in and around Concord realize the hydropower line would come through this area. And the increased tax revenue the project would pay each community if the line is built isn’t enough to get his support.

“I don’t think New Hampshire is going to get anything out of it,” he said. While the project may increase tax payments to a community, he said he fears property values will drop if the line is approved, leaving the city with a decrease in tax revenue.

Frank Tupper of Canterbury won’t see the line if it’s approved and built. He came to last night’s session to learn more about a project that he – so far – opposes.

“I’m really interested in whether this project is needed,” he said. Tupper was skeptical of a Northern Pass poster that said the hydropower line would reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 5 million tons a year.

“How is that measured?” Tupper asked. “I am opposed, but I’m here to learn about it. I can change my mind.”

Gloria Sinclair of Canterbury is concerned about the view she will have from her home if the line goes in. “But I’m concerned about the view from the entire route,” she said. Sinclair would like the see the state put more pressure on Northern Pass to bury the line, something project officials have said is too costly.

Geoffrey Smith lives in Loudon, a community not on the proposed line. He attended the session to learn more about the project. “At present, New Hampshire does not need the electricity that would be transported,” he said.

Some of the map information shown last night is available at northernpass.us under “In My Town.”

(Annmarie Timmins can be reached at 369-3323, atimmins
@cmonitor.com or on Twitter
@annmarietimmins.)

Can you see the hordes of 5 legged frogs being born now?

It is simply un-American for these NIMBY VISUAL PURISTS to fight this extremely important NATIONAL ECONOMIC SECURITY project.

How original. Do you have another nasty name for the thousands of NH residents whose property values would tank due to hundreds of miles of towers up to 150 feet tall?

If these numbers are like the rest of the numbers we've seen from no. pass, those 84 to 120 foot tower height estimates are likely to be even taller. Just because a company acts like it owns us, our state, our Legislature, etc. doesn't make it so but only adequate public outrage over this attempt to force property owners to subsidize this proposal with their decreased value along with the threat to our health and safety posed by almost 200 miles of huge towers and wires hanging over our heads like the sword of Damocles will be enough to offset the greasing of the wheels that is business as usual. NH ratepayers were forced to bailout these same "players" when they went bankrupt with their last get rich quick scheme - Seabrook. Now, on the verge of bankruptcy once more, they have another great idea. How many times can you get away with a public bailout of bad business decisions? What about all the other lines slated to cross our state in the coming years to feed the power hungry southern New England? What will NH look like? The legislature needs to get ahead of the curve and look out for the best interests of the people and state of NH by mandating that large scale transmission lines like this be placed underground on state designated energy corridors where they belong - just like they do in Maine, Vermont, New York, and esp. CT where psnh of CT is from and where the power is needed most. Bury it - all the way - or forget it.

As Northern Pass open houses move downstate, residents of NH are learning that the project is also the Southern Pass. The project relies on the same unacknowledged transfer of external costs to landowners, both abutters and those with the ROW, in the south as it does in the north. The project steals property value from landowners in order to build the cheapest possible line - overhead, outmoded technology crammed into an existing easement already full - in order to make billions for out of state investors and foreign corporations. It would be one of the biggest ripoffs in NH history. If you have been free riding, relying on others to fight Northern Pass, it's time to step up and do your part. Call your elected officials. Go to the next round of DOE scoping hearings in a few weeks. Make your voice heard to both. If you don't, you'll be staring at towers on property you'll never be able to sell for the rest of your life.

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