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Ohio governor candidates debate tonight:

FirstEnergy proposes $2M upgrade in Clark County

FirstEnergy has proposed a $2 million project to rebuild two transmission lines in the city of Springfield and Springfield Twp., according to information filed with the Ohio Power Siting Board.

Information filed with the siting board shows FirstEnergy wants to partially rebuild a roughly 8-mile section of the existing Clark-Green 138-kilovolt and Clark-East Springfield 138-kilovolt transmission lines within the existing transmission corridor.

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It would include replacing about 46 existing wood pole structures with either single wood poles, laminate poles or single steel poles. The company is seeking an expedited review of the project, which must be approved by the siting board before moving forward.

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Information filed by the company shows the line was originally built in 1962 and 1967. The project would only replace existing structures, and would not impact any other properties or require the company to acquire any new right-of-ways.

“Failing insulators have recently caused line outages and damage to wood pole structures,” FirstEnergy said in a filing about the need for the project. “A full inspection of this transmission line revealed that the structures affected do not meet (National Electric Safety Code) requirements.”

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Construction could begin as early as April and is expected to be finished by mid-October. The project largely runs along Interstate 70 between Springfield and Springfield Twp.

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Matt Butler, a spokesman for the OPSB, said staff members with the state will review the proposed project and present a report to the Ohio Power Siting Board. If the board members have no objections, the project would be automatically approved.

The staff report is expected to be filed on March 29, and the automatic approval date would be April 5.

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