Bern residents want to 'bury' Met-Ed power line proposal

BERN TWP., Pa. - A growing Bern Township could soon get supercharged by a new Met-Ed substation, but some residents are worried it could come at their expense.

"These lines are going to decrease our property values," said concerned resident Eric Keebler. "They're going to destroy the view shed in this beautiful valley here."

Officials with FirstEnergy said there's a need for a new, 69,000-volt substation and power lines to connect to an existing line.

A number of development projects and proposals are in the works in the township: UGI is set to have its new training grounds on Stinson Drive; two industrial parks around the airport and a shopping center on farmland adjacent to the airport are also being proposed.

Met-Ed has proposed two possible routes the lines could take.

Farm owner Dale Egan said the lines could jut right through his property. He wants Met-Ed to find alternate routes or bury the lines underground.

"I have nothing against progress," said Egan, who owns about 85 acres of farmland. "I understand they want to develop down at the airport and that whole area, and that's fine. That's great. That's not a bad place for it, but it shouldn't impact the local residents because of "progress," or whatever you're calling it, to do that."

​Met-Ed officials said all residents were notified in a public meeting this summer. They said putting lines underground would cost two or three times as much. They said they'll continue to listen to feedback from residents.

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