Idaho Power

The Blaine County Commissioners will hold two special meetings to discuss how to pay for the undergrounding of an Idaho Power transmission line along state Highway 75. The first meeting will take place Thursday night.

The meeting of stakeholders Thursday begins at 6 p.m. and is open to the public, but public comment will not be accepted.

Public comment will, however, be accepted at another meeting on the matter on Sept. 10. Members of the public will be able to offer input at the Sept. 10 meeting by submitting comments ahead of time or during the meeting.

The meetings are a continuation of a years-long discussion of the 9-mile transmission line, which will go near and along state Highway 75. After initially denying Idaho Power’s request to install an overhead line, the county agreed to allow a redundant line on one condition: it would have to be underground. Idaho Power will cover the cost of what an overhead line would be, but the county is responsible for the cost of putting it underground from the Hailey substation to where it was already scheduled to dive underground west of Elkhorn Road—a project estimated to cost between $32 million to $38 million.

An agenda for the Sept. 3 meeting can be found on the Blaine County website. The meeting will take place in the commissioners’ meeting room in the Old Blaine County Courthouse, but members of the public are strongly encouraged to attend the meeting virtually via the internet.

Email the writer: gkauffman@mtexpress.com

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