Columbia leaders discuss additional transmission lines

COLUMBIA, Mo. - Columbia City Council members met Thursday to discuss the proposed expansion of the city's power lines.

ABC 17 News has reported about the possible project since November.

On Thursday, Columbia Water and Light officials said the city needs more transmission lines to better serve south Columbia.

The three options city officials reviewed would each cost the city nearly $100 million, potentially costing residents an additional $9 each month for the next two decades. 

However, the city must first pick an option.

"The Water and Light Advisory Board recommendation to the City Council is that they go with Option A and build it over ground," said Water and Light spokeswoman Connie Kacprowicz. "That basically goes down Providence, Nifong to Scott Boulevard."

The community though is split. More than 1,500 residents returned city surveys about the project. Half said they wanted the power lines above ground half while the other half want lines below ground.

Before today's City Council meeting, ABC 17 News spoke with City Manager Mike Matthes.

When asked how much of a priority this project is to the city, he said, "It has to be done. It's just a matter of how."

Kacprowicz said particularly with summer around the corner, providing electricity through out town is a top priority.

"Especially during those hot days in the summer time when everyone's air conditioners are running we need to make sure we have the capacity on those lines to get all the electricity that's needed." Kacprowicz said.

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