Power line upsets Sask. farmer

A farmer from Wadena, Sask., wants SaskPower to reconsider the route for a proposed three-phase power line that will affect his operation.

Chad Haskey said the new Viterra facility at Wadena requires the service, but the corporation has chosen an indirect route that divides his farm and puts his plans for an airstrip in jeopardy.

He said there is a better route.

“The only reason they’re not going the direct, shorter route is because the line would not go down an all-season road,” he said.

The route past his house is on a better road but could place his employees in jeopardy because it would intersect where equipment is moved and set up. He owns the property on both sides of the road.

“We come out our driveway across the road and set up equipment,” Haskey said.

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The poles for a three-phase line are taller than others but are within the road allowance 33 feet from the centre of the road. He said combine headers are up to 45 feet wide and the poles could make turning difficult.

He said SaskPower should be concerned about increasing the risk of contact with power lines.

Haskey also planned the airstrip for chemical application as well as a bin yard on the affected property.

“I’m not trying to hold back progress, but there are other options,” he said.

Haskey said his attempts to discuss alternative routes with SaskPower have been fruitless. He has contacted a lawyer.

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“I’m guessing the only way to get resolution is to go the legal route,” he said.

“It’s very frustrating — if they would just come out and talk about it.”

A SaskPower spokesperson said the corporation was limited in what it could say because lawyers are involved. However, the corporation is meeting all applicable regulations and requires favourable topography and foundation conditions for its lines.

“We do try to minimize agriculture, environmental, social and other impacts such as the land use,” Leanne Persicke said.

“We minimize the economic impact such as construction costs, maintenance and operations from SaskPower’s perspective.”

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karen.briere@producer.com