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November 18, 2013

LG&E apologizes but New Albany may still file complaint

City concerned over extent of Kenzig Road project

NEW ALBANY — Louisville Gas and Electric Co. apologized for lack of communication regarding its Kenzig Road project during a recent meeting with the city, New Albany Mayor Jeff Gahan’s office stated in a news release issued late Monday afternoon.

Earlier this month, the city threatened to file a complaint over the clear-cutting of trees and other issues related to the construction of a power station by LG&E.

A right-of-way is being cleared for an electric line in the area, which is near Interstate 265 and State Street, as LG&E is building a transmission breaker station about 500 feet southwest of the end of Kenzig Road within New Albany’s two-mile fringe.

Gahan’s administration accused LG&E of failing to communicate with the city about the project, and the release issued on Monday stated a detailed mitigation plan for the project has been requested of the utility company.

“The knobs of Floyd County are a precious resource which provide natural protection and beauty for all of our residents,” Gahan said in the release. “We insist that any activity which could bring potential harm to our knobs and other natural landmarks be extensively reviewed.”

City officials said that while the administration is pleased that LG&E met with them, they haven’t ruled out filing a complaint against the company with the Indiana Utilities Regulatory Commission.

The mass amount of clearing, including the removal of dozens of trees, sparked the administration’s concerns.

In the release, Gahan called LG&E to hold a series of public meetings to inform residents about the project.

LG&E is scheduled to appear before the Floyd County Commissioners Tuesday night to discuss the Kenzig Road construction.

When the city’s concerns were first expressed earlier this month, the company stated it had obtained all necessary permits for the project, and that easements were secured.

LG&E spokeswoman Natasha Collins acknowledged Monday that the company did meet recently with Gahan and administration officials.

“We look forward to further discussions with the city regarding the details of those requests,” she said. “As with all of our construction projects, it has been our intent to reclaim the area where the construction is taking place with vegetation compatible with the new facilities, such as native grasses.”

The trees removed during construction will be replaced by the end of the project, which will likely conclude in 2015, according to LG&E.

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