Midway Council Votes Tuesday Whether To Appeal Review Boards Ruling Regarding Transmission Lines

May 18, 2020

Credit Volt Citizens Group

70% of Midway residents polled wish to have new large transmission lines buried underground, and over half a million dollars have been raised to fund that effort. Despite that support, The lines could end up overhead due to high costs and a large power companies reported deadline.

In December Midway’s City Council unanimously voted to approve the joint conditional use permit submitted by Rocky Mountain Power and Heber Light & Power to construct new transmission lines to carry power through the southern portion of Midway. The approval was conditional on a few items, the key one being that the lines be buried, if Midway can secure the funds to pay for the additional costs. 

A few months later Rocky Mountain Power provided three bids for the cost to bury the lines in Midway, the lowest being $12.6 million. The power company also challenged the conditions on their permit to the Utah Utility Facility Review Board, a state entity that resolves disputes between local governments and power companies. 

Midway city argued to the board that the bids accepted by Rocky Mountain Power contained mistakes and were too high. Additionally, Midway argued that they should be given time to pass a bond in November to pay for the cost to bury the lines. 

After hours of hearings the board ruled in favor of Rocky Mountain Power. At this Tuesday’s meeting, Midway City Council will consider appealing the ruling by the board. 

If the council chooses not to appeal, they will have to vote Tuesday evening whether to agree to pay to bury the lines within the next 120 days in an amount exceeding $12 million. City officials and staff have previously stated they do not have anywhere near that amount of liquid cash on hand. Alternatively, the city will vote to agree to have the lines go overhead.