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Power towers would slash thru Mistlin Park
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RIPON – Ripon isn’t thrilled that a proposed major transmission line for electricity would mean power towers would cut through Mistlin Sports Park, school property adjacent to Park View School and the Cornerstone neighborhood.

The City of Ripon wants no part of the proposed TANC Transmission lines that are preliminarily set to run right through several key points in town.

And the City Council is going to say as much in a letter penned by City Attorney Tom Terpstra that will be delivered to the agency prior to the end of the “scoping” period that allows for public comment through May 31.

According to Planning Director Ken Zuidervaart, the route being studied as a possible thoroughfare will have the lines running right through the heart of the Cornerstone development as well as the Mistlin Sports Park, Park View Elementary School, and land behind Park View owned by Ripon Unified School District – something that would raise multiple concerns and might not even be possible considering the 200-foot easements that are required for each tower.

When coming up with the proposed study area, Zuidervaart said that TANC planners used old maps that didn’t include the projects that will be impacted on them – requesting that new maps showing the development be submitted to be taken into consideration.

But even if the agency were to be able to secure a route through the 1,000-foot swath that they have highlighted as a study area to run the cables through Ripon on their way to Modesto, civic leaders have more than enough concerns to say that they outright don’t want to be a part of it.

“I think that the letter should say that we’re adamantly opposed to having those lines anywhere around Ripon,” Mayor Chuck Winn said. “And for those reasons that we’ve been discussing – the safety factors and the impacts that the project will have on prime ag and commercial land that will affect them dramatically.

“I think that we shouldn’t just say no, but say no and provide our suggestions for other routes that wouldn’t affect this community the way that it does.”

Zuidervaart says that the city is planning on recommending that the lines be transferred to the opposite side of Interstate 5 and take the route out along the Central Valley’s I-580 corridor and over to the Tracy substations that they need to access.

Winn noted that it would be possible for Modesto to be accessed through the rural route along Highway 132.

The city is also planning on holding an informational meeting with TANC representatives for residents to get a better understanding of the project and be able to ask questions that they may have – similar to a meeting held last week in Tracy that was attended by some Ripon residents.

More than a dozen people left the council meeting immediately after the discussion wrapped up.