A couple who own property on a mountaintop in Vermont's Rutland County have lost in their bid to prevent construction of a new utility communications tower there.
The state Public Service Board ruled for the Vermont Electric Power Co., saying it could erect the tower against the wishes of landowners Felix Kniazev and Olga Julinska, and will have to pay the couple less than $26,000 in compensation.
The board found the property atop Northeast Mountain in Wells would provide a key link in a new communications project VELCO is building around Vermont.
The merger of Green Mountain Power and Central Vermont Public Service has become controversial due to how the merged company plans to refund $21 million owed to CVPS ratepayers. The companies want to repay ratepayers through energy efficiency measures, but AARP-Vermont and others have been pushing for direct cash refunds. An amendment was presented in the Vermont House that would force the direct payments to customers. The House Natural Resources and Energy and the Commerce and Economic Development committees took testimony Tuesday on the appropriateness of Legislative intervention.