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City ready to fight TID over lines
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Ceres city officials say their concerns about a proposed Turlock Irrigation District transmission project have fallen on deaf ears and the City Council is ready to do battle in court if those plans are approved.

TID is proposing to construct a 10-mile 115 KV electricity transmission line from Hughson to Ceres. The TID board is scheduled to approve a final Environmental Impact Report (EIR) on Tuesday morning, Nov. 17 in Turlock.

The power utility is proposing a new double-circuit 115-kV transmission line stretched from Geer Road northeast of Hughson to a new 7.3-acre substation on Grayson Road southwest of Ceres. The project is dubbed the Hughson-Grayson 115-kV Transmission Line and Substation Project. According to TID officials the project is needed to serve expected load growth and improve transmission reliability.

At Monday's council meeting members expressed concern that consultants doing the EIR have blown off the city's concerns. The city is concerned that the massive poles that will be strung along Faith Home and Grayson roads will need to be removed at a later date when the road is in need of widening - at great expense to Ceres taxpayers. TID has dismissed the future road widening projects as "not reasonably foreseeable projects."

City Attorney Mike Lyions said if TID approves its EIR that the city will likely challenge the matter in court on the basis that the city's concerns were not addressed.

Ceres resident David Yonan, who owns land on Grayson Road, urged the city to get involved, saying, "all of our concerns are falling on deaf ears." Yonan is upset that the TID route is " cutting through some prime ag land and down roads instead of following existing TID canals -which they already own."

A number of land owners do not like the idea of towering transmission lines - TID is proposing 70-foot tall towers which are about 22 to 30 feet taller than standard distribution lines. Most who are upset with the route are those living in an area east of the TID Almond Power Plant where lines would head east from the Ceres Main Canal on line with Grayson Road.

- which two years ago was included in the Ceres General Plan and is potentially to be widened and extended to tie in with Mitchell.

Yonan wants TID to merely put the line 2,200 feet south of Grayson Road. He said he suspects TID is only motivated to develop the shortest line possible since the cost is $1 million per mile,