Proposed Power Line Route Sparks Concerns For Air Force Base

The power line is expected to run through Carroll, Cass, Miami and White counties, but some worry the route is too close to Grissom Air Reserve Base.

KC-135R from Grissom Air Reserve Base

Photo: rsteup (Flickr)

KC-135R from Grissom Air Reserve Base practices takeoffs and landings at Fort Wayne International. The base is seeking to build a second runway to accommodate more flights.

Three electric utilities are scheduled to decide the route this month for a planned new power line through five north central Indiana counties, and one of the possible routes is sparking objections.

NIPSCO, Duke Energy and American Electric Power are partnering on a required power-grid upgrade, stretching 70 miles from Duke‘s substation in Greentown east of Kokomo to NIPSCO‘s substation in Reynolds, which is in White County.

The line would also pass through Miami, Cass and Carroll Counties.

The Miami County commissioners have passed a resolution urging against one possible route which passes close to Grissom Air Reserve Base.

“That is one of our major focal points for economic development and when you start running power lines that close to it, it limits what we can do as far as expand and future growth,” says Miami County commissioners’ chairman Josh Francis.

Francis says the power lines would prevent the long-planned addition of a second runway, which would prevent the base’s airstrip from being completely shut down if the first runway needs repairs.

NIPSCO spokesman Nick Meyer says the utilities hadn‘t been aware of the Grissom issue until the commissioners raised it. But he says their objections will be just one of several factors taken into account.

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