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TECO Power Line Plan Draws FishHawk Residents' Ire

Tampa Electric will hold a community meeting tonight, April 12, on its plans to build a new transmission line from Polk County to FishHawk Ranch.

Some FishHawk Ranch residents are concerned about a Tampa Electric plan that could bring high-voltage power lines through their neighborhood.

Christie VanVleet, a 38-year-old mother of four young children, has started a Facebook group in opposition of TECO's planned expansion of its Polk Power Station. The group, Stop Power Lines NOW, had more than 150 members as of Thursday afternoon.

VanVleet has also handed out nearly 100 fliers this past week to residents of nearby Channing Park that warn of health risks and call for the power lines to be re-routed or buried. One resident, she said, "looked like he had been given a death sentence" when she told him about the plans.

VanVleet says TECO's proposal shows power lines adjacent to her home.

"I can see it from my backyard, basically," VanVleet said.

The TECO plan (see attached PDF) would construct 40 miles of power line from southwestern Polk County to its FishHawk substation. The company says it wants to hear from residents as it considers the route the line will take before construction begins in 2014.

TECO representatives are hosting a public meeting tonight, April 12, from 5:30-7 p.m. at , 15326 FishHawk Blvd., Lithia.

If you cannot attend tonight's meeting but are interested in learning more about the new transmission lines, call 813-275-3334.

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