The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

News

January 10, 2013

Dalmatia area landowners win land dispute

3-county power line idea nixed

DALMATIA — Nine property owners are celebrating the state Public Utility Commission’s rejection of PPL Electric Utilities’ plan to string nearly 12 miles of power lines over scenic farmland in Northumberland, Snyder and Juniata counties.

“This is huge,” said an ebullient Roy Maurer, a Dalmatia farmer who spent $50,000 to fight the utility. “It’s a rare thing to win a case against such a well-funded corporation. But our group of farmers got together and did just that.”

Two PUC administrative law judges, David A. Salapa and Joel H. Cheskis, ultimately made the decision, Maurer said.

PPL had requested to the PUC that it wanted to exercise eminent domain over several properties for a proposed Dalmatia to Richfield 69-kilovolt transmission line project.

“They said in a hearing it was necessary,” Maurer said. “But PPL hadn’t done any repair work on our lines for 15 years, and now they came along and said they (were) needed for the service, accommodation, convenience or safety of the public? I think the judges, who had a year to study the request, saw through that argument — and denied it.”

In the 44-page decision, Salapa and Cheskis wrote: “Need” was not proven, therefore “We recommend ... that PPL’s application be rejected.”

The judges said that it was not necessary to address the route because PPL had not proven need for the project.

PPL plans to contest the judges’ recommendation, Maurer said.

“I’ll probably have to pay to have our lawyers make further arguments and fight PPL again,” he said. “They have a lot of money. And I’ve spent a lot of money on this, and I don’t think I’ll recover any of it, even if we ultimately prevail. But this is not just about me.

“All of the landowners involved here have spent money and time fighting this. But I couldn’t live with myself if I hadn’t done everything I could to stop PPL’s plans for the land. For generations, our ancestors were protectors of their rural farmland and we can do no less.”

After the recommendations went public, Maurer said: “We thank the judges for listening to the community and property owners in this case of eminent domain. We had a lot of community support and encouragement  throughout the pats few years. We couldn’t have survived without them.”

Responses to the recommendation are due in writing to the PUC no later than Monday at the PUC, said a PUC spokesman.

Replies to the written responses are due no later than Jan. 24.

Meanwhile, PPL is still urging the PUC to approve its application because, the company says, the project is needed to improve electrical service.

A final ruling will be made this year.

But, even then, the PUC decision can be appealed to the state Commonwealth Court.

 

1
Text Only
News
  • Loaded language

    Sometimes it’s the offhand remark that’s the most telling. Indeed, the way we Americans casually, often unthinkingly, incorporate gun metaphors into our everyday slang says a lot about how deeply embedded guns are in our culture and our politics, and how difficult it is to control or extract them. Consider this list, presented as bullet points — which are themselves so conventional, so central to the typography of mind-numbing PowerPoint presentations, that you can forget what their shape represents.

    April 20, 2014

  • Prize claim cost man $1,829

    WINFIELD — Western Union is doing what it can to educate people about the risks in wiring money. An entire section on its website (www.westernunion.com) is devoted to providing information that might reduce the risk of people falling victim to fraud schemes.
     

    April 19, 2014

  • Reel good time enjoyed by 200 young anglers

    TREVORTON — It only took about three minutes for J.C. Wallish to reel in his first fish at the Little Shamokin Creek Watershed Association’s annual Youth Trout Derby on Saturday.
     

    April 19, 2014

  • Elytte Barbour's 'bad trip' put him on the road to prison, friend says

    SUNBURY — A former roommate of slaying suspect Elytte Barbour drove 450 miles from North Carolina to spend 45 minutes in the Northumberland County Prison with his best friend last week, and was not surprised when he heard Barbour say: “I am afraid to spend the rest of my life in jail.”

    April 19, 2014

  • bonehunt20a.jpg 60 dogs battle for biscuits at annual bone hunt

    It was a scene similar to ones playing out all over the nation this weekend: nervous parents holding baskets and bags, watching their little ones search for goodies in the grass.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Arizona tribe set to prosecute first non-Indian under a new law

    PASCUA YAQUI INDIAN RESERVATION, Ariz. — Tribal police chief Michael Valenzuela drove through darkened desert streets, turned into a Circle K convenience store and pointed to the spot beyond the reservation line where his officers used to take the non-Indian men who battered Indian women.
     

    April 19, 2014

  • Danville parents hope strike ends quickly

    DANVILLE ““ First-grader Madison Wild was sad she missed school Thursday.

    April 19, 2014

  • Schools ask state to waive 180-day rule

    Three area school districts have asked the Pennsylvania Department of Education to add up their hours instead of their days in order to reach the required amount of instruction time in the school year.

    April 19, 2014

  • Former Bucknell star in NBA playoffs

    ATLANTA — It really hit Mike Muscala a few days ago when he was listening to the Nets’ starting lineup at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

    April 19, 2014

  • State: Discard raw milk from Greenfield Dairy

    MIDDLEBURG — Consumers should discard raw milk purchased recently from the Greenfield Dairy of Middleburg, which also has temporarily suspended production after Listeria monocytogenes was discovered in the product following routine testing, the state Department of Agriculture announced today.

    April 18, 2014

The Daily Marquee
Poll

How do you eat your chocolate Easter bunny?

Feet first
Tail first
Ears first
     View Results
Photo Galleries
The Valley

Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.