A map sent to the Lincoln County Planning Department and the Lincoln County Power District from the state Energy Office and state BLM office showing the existing and proposed above ground utility corridors in the county, has caused quite a bit of local confusion.
Power District Manager Dave Luttrell and Tye Chamberlain of the BLM Caliente office both appeared at the County Commission meeting Dec. 1 for a workshop on amending the County Master Plan and the Public Lands Policy.
But the map has quite a few places drawn that Lincoln County Power and the BLM doesn’t know what it means or have concerns about the land the lines cover. “It really doesn’t look like what we would draw if we would do it here locally,” Luttrell said.
A large wall map was displayed as well as smaller copies for each Commissioner. Luttrell said the state map “doesn’t line up very well with our existing transmission facilities that Lincoln County Power District has. Most of the orange lines (larger lines) on the map in other corridors don’t line up with our existing facilities.”
He said what he would like to do is “figure out what the purpose of this map is?” He said even a couple of high voltage lines LCPD has applied for on BLM land do not show up on the new map. “I’m puzzled by that. Our own 230KV lines that we have proposed to meet the needs here locally are not on the map, as well as our existing lines that might want to be followed as you are doing local planning. The map needs to be more customized for Lincoln County needs.”
He said most of the lines proposed for utility corridors are in the areas the LCPD does want to go, but still need to be defined further.
Chamberlain, BLM realty specialist, concurred with Luttrell’s comments and said he found some huge discrepancies himself that he is concerned about. “There are a number of places that have corridors defined that don’t have BLM right-of-way in Lincoln County.”
He said there is “a bunch of stuff (up in the north part of the county) that goes someplace, but doesn’t match a power line from LCPD or anything we have.” He said also he and County Planning and Building Director Cory Lytle are going to, “need to get into the database and figure out how did they get this stated? Theoretically, since it came from the state energy office in conjunction with BLM, I need to know where they got the files? I don’t know what the intent of this map is. There needs to be a coordinated effort. The bottom line is the utility company, ourselves, Cory and I, need to get together and sort out what this is supposed to represent and what they are asking for as a final product.”
Luttrell added that on some parts of the map, local land use does not seem to have been much taken into account as to where the corridor was placed. For example, he noted a big 2,500-foot wide high voltage line is drawn on the map running through Eagle Valley, “but I would think from a land use perspective, do we really want a big, interstate 230-500KV line run through there?”
Commissioner Paul Donohue said making the amendment to the County’s Master Plan is pursuant to NRS 278-150-170, “and the state says we have to do this.”
Chamberlain countered by saying, while it might be a state law, “if the state doesn’t own the land…”
No action was taken on the item as it was only a workshop session.