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Residents angry, ready to fight proposed substation expansion

Woodgate Farms townhomes
Posted at 5:13 PM, Mar 02, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-05 08:41:10-05

RAYTOWN, Mo. — Some people who live and own property in the Woodgate Farms community are not happy over Evergy's plans to expand their substation.

"It’s going to change the whole neighborhood," said Ginna Terrill.

Terrill has lived in her home on East 59th Street for 39 years. When she moved in, the current substation was already in place.

“On so many occasions where a transformer has blown in the middle of the night, it’s like a sonic boom and your lights would go out and I’m going to get two more of those next to this plant already?”

An Evergy spokesperson told KSHB 41 that plans to expand the current substation would, "enhance electric reliability and strengthen the regional power grid."

The spokesperson for the utility also added that the company has been in contact with area's Homeowner's Association about acquiring the property for the expansion.

“It’s like David and Goliath," said Larry Wisely who owns townhomes near the substation. "I’m retired construction worker, they’ve done this a hundred times, thousand times and they know exactly what they’re doing."

Wisely says an expansion would impact property values.

“Our houses are the biggest investment we have and you grow it and grow it and grow it and take care of it, fight to take care of it and spend all kinds of money for thirty something years and then all of a sudden Evergy says ‘I’m going to do this right next to your front door and you lose 30-50 percent of your value?" said Wisely.

An Evergy spokesperson addressed the resident concerns in a statement sent to KSHB 41:

"Evergy is committing to working with landowners throughout the project process to minimize impact, while upgrading the equipment needed to deliver safe and reliable power. The property we plan to expand the existing substation onto is owned by the area’s homeowner association (HOA). As required by Missouri law, we will present the HOA Board with an appraisal conducted by a licensed appraiser. Our initial offer will not be less than the amount determined by the appraiser and can be negotiated. We will negotiate with the elected HOA Board in good faith and assume the board will seek to protect its members’ interests."
Evergy spokeperson

Evergy added discussions with the HOA will include substation screening, including a stone cast wall and landscaping.

Wisely said he doesn't want the expansion and he's ready to fight to make sure it doesn't happen.

“I’m in combat. I’m a fighter. I can win,” Wisely said.

If Evergy is successful, the project is scheduled to be completed by 2026.