The informal open house had several stations which visitors could visit and speak with representatives from NIPSCO about the various aspects of the project.
Several proposed routes are mapped out and property owners who were within 1,000 feet of the proposed lines were notified by letter about the open house. Property owners were able to discuss the timeline for the project, right-of-way acquisition, and construction.
The one thing they don’t know yet is exactly where the new lines will go. NIPSCO provided a computer center at the open house where their representatives sat with individual property owners and zoomed in on their property noting things that may not be seen from the air or roadway including family burial sites, wetlands, historic sites and wildlife. The representative was then able to pinpoint what issues are on the proposed site.
NIPSCO will take the information gathered from all of the open houses and review the comments and then make a finalized selection route in August. Once a route is selected letters will be mailed to everyone who received the letter informing them of the open house. Some letters will tell property owners their land will not be involved while other property owners will be informed that they are interested in their land for the project. At that point agents from NIPSCO will meet with property owners and begin the negotiation process to acquire the 200 foot right-of-way needed for the new lines.
If you were unable to attend last night’s meeting at Swan Lake, there are two more NIPSCO open houses, Monday, July 22nd at Winamac High School in the Gym at 715 School Drive or Tuesday, July 23rd at the Brandywine Best Western Conference Center at 304 South 6th Street in Monticello.