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Uncertain Plan B for North Loop Project

It’s been almost a month since the Court of Appeals ruled Idaho Falls could not use eminent domain to expand power transmission lines outside its service area.

Mayor Rebecca Casper said in a statement, “I believe that we have concluded appropriatelegal action with regards to the use of eminent domain to obtain property outside city limits for theNorth Loop project. We respect the court’s ruling and look forward to continuing to negotiate withproperty owners,” said Casper.

The mayor will work alongside Idaho Falls Power General Manager Jackie Flowers and city council members to figure out the best negotiating points moving forward.

“We’re going to take a look at all the options we had on the table initially and revisit those to have a conversation. I can’t predict the outcome of that is going to happen because it hasn’t started yet,” said Flowers.

One thing the city seems to be sure of is the need for new transmission lines along the east and west sides of town.

“The primary infrastructure that serves the core of the city was built in the 60’s. Clearly the way we use electricity has changed quite dramatically since then,” said Flowers.

Flowers said without a better backbone for the north end of town, the area is more susceptible to power outages.

“We have three points that we’re working to connect to essentially build that backbone in the sections that need it … all three are located outside the city limits,” she said.

Brian Reed with the Alliance for Property Rights said the property owners have always been willing to sit down and speak with the city. They support the city in delivering power more efficiently, but an alternative is needed.

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