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Opinion

October 19 - November 1, 2013

www.SanTanSun.com

Community Commentary

Letters to the editor

Read between the SRP power lines BY JANE ANDERSEN

If you’re a little confused about the latest SRP/Price Road Corridor (PRC) announcement (Oct. 10, 2013) delaying the application date for a Certificate Jane Andersen of Environmental Submitted photo Compatibility (CEC), we are too. On the surface, this announcement, which many residents in the community received via email from SRP and/or from their HOAs or local news, seemed positive. Maybe our residents’ voices had been heard and SRP was backing down? Maybe SRP was backing away from the size and scope of the project? Maybe SRP was changing its plans, and instead of putting 160-foot, 230kV high voltage lines through our communities, where children play and go to school, where beautiful home prices will be affected, they’ll reconsider and move their plans and project to the Gila River Indian Community (GRIC), as we have been suggesting since January. Well, not so fast. Don’t get too excited about the delay of the application. Let’s read between the lines. So far, this is what we’ve been told or know: • SRP has stated that the power needs for the PRC is anticipated to triple in the next 20 years. The PRC is considered a “hot” spot. • SRP had previously stated at its open houses and to state and local representatives that companies that exist along the PRC have an urgent need for more power, so negotiating with

GRIC and looking for alternative routes will be considered, but they must go forward with their planned route selections, crossing our community with power lines above ground and surrounding our community with 230kV high voltage lines and 160-foot poles. Waiting on GRIC, the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), and Gila River Indian Community Utility Authority (GRICUA) was not possible, because the need was too great to wait. • SRP has said that undergrounding the high voltage wires was not an option for various reasons, but, Tom Novy, the SRP project site manager, said at a previous citizen town hall this past summer, that if the community came up with the money, it would do it. • SRP has said that Schrader substation cannot handle the additional delivery power needs anticipated, even with a fourth 230kV transformer added, and so RS-28 and RS-27 (substations) are needed within a few blocks of each other on Price Road Corridor. SRP added a 50% increase in power capacity to Schrader this year, and now we need two more 230kV substations? Who is all this power for? Where is it going? By the way, substation locations are negotiated with private landowners, according to SRP. Hmmm. • SRP has said that they will go to the AZ Power Plant and Transmission Line Siting Committee to present route alternatives for the power lines and locations for the substations. The CEC application to the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) is to be submitted no later than Aug.1, 2014.

Thank you I am completely blown away and honored that you chose me for the “Spiritual Reflections” section (SanTan Sun News, Sept. 7). There are no words to explain how grateful I am to be able to share my spiritual experiences and faith with others in the hopes that they will also keep their eyes on God and just hold. Blessings, Jacqueline Rainey

The application was originally proposed for next month. • SRP has stated that it has been working in parallel with GRIC and the Community Utility Authority on alternative routes through the Gila River Indian Community since 2012. SRP recently published a proposed Route Alternative on Community Lands (September 2013), and report on its website. The on-reservation route will require consents and approvals from the affected allottee land owners, the community council and the BIA, but, it appears the impact study timelines and approval process has been shortened to accommodate SRP. • SRP had previously stated that the PRC high voltage project was not for Pinal County and only for the PRC and the Southeast Valley service territory. However, its recent proposal to GRIC indicates that the new facilities will provide greater reliability and support expected growth in SRP’s service area and, potentially, on GRIC lands. (A must-read report, especially the Benefits to the GRIC Community. srpnet.com/electric/ transmission/projects/priceroadcorridor/communityroute.aspx) • SRP has stated that its customers are already paying for the first component of the project (Schrader to RS-28) as the cost was factored into SRP’s prices that went into effect in November 2012. • SRP, in a presentation by Novy to RMEL in Denver, CO, in March 2013, included the following: SEE SRP PAGE 43

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How do I know CUSD is an ‘A’rated district? I suppose I could successfully and succinctly answer this question by reading the report published by the Arizona Department of Education last week which awarded CUSD its third consecutive “A” rating. By reading this report and examining the breakdown in individual school grades, I could garner some valuable information. One fact which warrants repeating and further contemplation is the simple truth every high school received an “A” rating. This on its own is noteworthy. The simple and eloquent result of such an achievement is CUSD’s ability to tell any parent of an existing or future CUSD student they are destined to attend an “A”-rated high school regardless of where they reside in Chandler. This result did not occur by mere chance, it is the result of years of dedication and planning by the district to ensure a high quality of education at every high school. However, I would recommend the best way to observe and verify the “A” rating of every high school is to visit them. Here are some simple observations I have witnessed. While watching a Chandler High Football game last fall, I observed a crowd of students and parents who felt a genuine connection to the team during the team’s pre-game Polynesian chant to fire up the crowd. I saw a team compete with the high level of skill and expertise, a team truly led by student athletes. Note the word “student” comes first, one of the team’s top performers is also an honor student who SEE LETTERS TO THE EDITOR PAGE 43

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Opinion

www.SanTanSun.com SRP FROM PAGE 42

9 Total PRC high voltage project cost is expected to be between $140 and $180 million. (I guess we’ll be seeing another rate increase this year.) 9 69kV capacity for service area is 581 MW with a potential load need of 1285 MW. (That’s a lot of power for PRC and the surrounding service area, considering that most of the existing companies that consume more power than others already have their own substations. Will this be a GRIC benefit—at lower costs to their community?) 9 Retirees are not concerned about job creation, according to his slide. 9 (This sounds like a funny thing to say, when I believe most retirees receive a monthly Social Security check, and it takes people working and contributing to the system to ensure that this will happen. And who says they don’t want to find interesting work during retirement?) 9 A house is a house regardless of its value or location, according to his slide. (For most people, their homes are (were) their nest egg. We have found that home appreciation is important to most people, and the No. 1 rule in real

estate is location, location, location. ) 9 It’s not a vote, according to his slide. (In other words, SRP doesn’t care if you like the project or not, it will have the final say, not its customers. Got it? ) What is still unknown? Plenty. • We don’t have much information on Phase 3 of the project, which includes more SRP-sponsored open houses for the public process. • We don’t have any dates for the Transmission Line Siting Committee hearings, as the application for the CEC, we’re told, has been delayed until no later than Aug. 1, 2014. (Interpretation: This means that it could happen before Aug. 1, 2014.) • We don’t have any dates for the ACC hearings, as all the above needs to happen first. But, we do know that the high voltage power line route connection from Schrader Substation to the proposed RS-28 Substation has an in-service date of December 2016—not May 2016 as originally planned. So, I guess the “Urgency of Power” to PRC and the surrounding area is not so urgent. Recalling the speeches at our citizen town hall in June, it appears that SRP did not plan for growth very well if it just started looking at the

October 19 - November 1, 2013

43

Price Road Corridor in 2012. If there is an urgent need, why are we waiting for the first component of the project to be in operation December 2016? Where was SRP when the city of Chandler was zoning PRC decades before? SRP claims it talks with Chandler’s Economic Development Division, sharing information, on a regular basis. Really? So, what does SRP want us to think? Why send this delay of CEC application notification now? Could this delay be seen as a positive step? Is SRP listening to its customers, and considering alternative routes to connect Schrader to RS-28?

Will the alternative route be on the GRIC? Read the fine print. Read between the power lines and then decide. We hope SRP has heard us—all of our voices—together. Maybe a small group of committed individuals focused on a common goal, can change the world— or at least the routes for the SRP/PRC project.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR FROM PAGE 42

when its marching band takes the field or can be seen by attending an orchestra concert. The performance is worthy of a city symphony. I had the opportunity to witness a dominating performance by Perry High’s basketball team, in addition Perry High offers the highly touted STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) program. The recent third consecutive “A” rating for CUSD is great news for all, but it should come as no surprise, the “A” rating is on display on a daily basis. The Yes for Chandler Students committee urges everyone to vote “Yes” on their override ballots which should have arrived in the mail this past week. CUSD, is one of the few districts to offer athletics to every student without charging a participation fee. Please help CUSD maintain this ability all while offering an array of highly successful academic programs as well. Julie Craig, Chandler parent

was awarded the school top award for volunteerism. I witnessed the wrestlers next to the cheerleaders rallying the crowd with post score pushups; mind you this wrestling team contained a student athlete who was a four-time state champion for Chandler High. The cheerleaders did their part with a mix of traditional cheers and high flying aerobics, one of the co-captains of the cheer squad received an IB (International Baccalaureate) Diploma, a special diploma comprised of four years of all honors courses, volunteer work and an additional school project. Every “A” rating at every high school has an entire student body and talented staff behind it. Every high school displays its “A” rating on a routine basis. It can be found at Hamilton High in its state champion football team and high academic ratings. Basha High’s excellence is on full display

Jane Andersen is a nine-year Ocotillo/Chandler resident. She and her husband, Al, can be reached at www. thegolfrealtynetwork.com or 602-6849300.


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