A number of residents have contacted me with concerns with the planned above ground hydro power lines to be installed on the south side of Abbott Street East. In association with this project there are also planned works for power lines in the area, please see below for more details. On June 23 there was an Open House Information Session held in Stittsville to discuss this project, you can view the presentation from this meeting here.
To provide some background information on this item, in 2007 Hydro Ottawa was proposing to install the power line on the north side of Abbott Street and the community expressed concern with this proposal given how close the power line would be to the residents facing and backing onto the north side of Abbott Street. At that time I requested that Hydro Ottawa please review alternatives as I would not support the line on the north side of the street given the closeness to houses. Now Hydro Ottawa has planned to install the power line on the south side of the street, while I know that some residents will also not be pleased with this plan I hope we can agree that it is better than the original proposal. Hydro Ottawa has advised that they require this pole line to increase reliability and provide power to other areas of Stittsville.
I can appreciate that many residents would prefer to have these hydro lines placed underground however the reality is that this will unfortunately not be possible due to the high cost of such a project. Hydro Ottawa estimates that to bury this line it would cost approximately $1,500,000 compared to the cost of $415,000 for overhead wires.
Hydro Ottawa’s standard on collector roadways, such as Abbott Street East, is overhead pole lines. As per their Conditions of Service, Section 2.1.4: “Underground electrical system installation is an option, provided sufficient utility space is available, associated land rights are granted and the requestor pays the associated costs.” Therefore as Hydro Ottawa will not cover these costs and neither will the City, the only option would be for residents with properties along Abbott Street East to pay a levy to share the cost of burying the wires underground. A similar concern as was also raised on Maple Grove Road when residents were also concerned about overhead wires being installed on their road. The suggestion of a levy was raised but I found that residents were not supportive of such an option when faced with having to cover the cost themselves. All properties in the selected area would have to pay the levy and the majority of properties would have to agree to the levy as well. Given the low attendance at the public information session I do not feel there would be enough residents interested in sharing the cost of the project to bury the lines underground. However, if you feel there would be a willingness among residents to pay for the cost to bury the lines, please let me know and we can explore that possibility further but please note this would be a large cost to residents.
The following map provides an overview of all of the work planned in part of this project. In addition to Abbott Street East, there will also be work done in the surrounding communities on Trailway/Springbrook, Forest Creek/Sweetnam, Granite Ridge/Fringewood, however please note that all hydro work within these residential communities are either upgrades of existing poles or underground work.
Other than the planned power line on Abbott St East (designated collector road) there will be no other new above ground power lines on residential designated streets. I understand that there was some confusion on this matter with residents of the impression that there would be a new above ground power line on Granite Ridge and I do apologize for any confusion to residents, Granite Ridge will have an underground line.
For a full-sized PDF of the map please visit here.
I did also receive some concerns from residents regarding the impact new street lights on the new Abbott street hydro poles would have on their properties. City of Ottawa Streetlighting staff have been in contact with Hydro Ottawa staff on this project to ensure the pole spacing is sufficient to accommodate future Street Lighting on Abbott Street East. At this time City staff have advised that they are not aware of plans to install any street lights on this section of road and that no detailed design has been completed for Abbott Street East to date. If the City were to install street lights in the future the spacing would likely be every 50-55m on the hydro poles with similar spacing on the North side on the existing wood poles (the ones closer to Stittsville Main St).
For more information on this project I would encourage you to review the following documents that have been provided by Hydro Ottawa. If you have any further questions after reviewing this information please feel free to contact myself and the project manager, Tyler Lambert, at 613-738-5499 ext. 7120, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note that Hydro Ottawa will provide the residents that front or back onto Abbott St with a project notice letter before the project gets started and I have requested the same is also done for work in other areas of the community related to this project. I will also notify residents through my e-column.