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Sub station needed to help power new Joplin hospital - KOAM TV 7

Sub station needed to help power new Joplin hospital, but residents don't like the location

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Some Joplin residents are concerned with a possible new location of an electric sub station.  Empire District Electric Company plans to build a new sub station in the Hidden Hills neighborhood in south Joplin.

Empire says a new sub station is a necessity since the new Mercy Hospital and future construction will need more power.

When Janet Kervian returned home form vacation she was greeted by construction crews cutting down trees and leveling land just down the street from her house.  It's a sore sight and sound for someone trying to sell her house.

"There were plenty of trucks back there and there were plenty of trucks coming in and out of here," says Kervian.  "Quite honestly ,you put a sub station in here, who would want to develop?  Who would want to buy a piece of property and put a house on it if they were going to be staring at a sub station?"

Empire says the sub station is a necessity.

"The requirements of the hospital as well as the growth that would naturally occur, in and around a medical community, those parts well exceed the capacity of our existing sub stations so we will be required to build a new sub station site to serve the hospital," says Jule Maus of Empire District Electric Company.

Kervian has a few problems with the plans.

"There is only one road to access this through and that road comes through three residential neighborhoods," says Kervian.

"We have secured a second entrance for construction traffic, that was one of the concerns residents voiced about the site that was chosen," Maus says.

Another concern for the residents is the size of the sub station.  Empire officials say they're listening to those concerns and keeping them in consideration.

"We want to receive input from the area residents and try to work to address their concerns," says Maus.  "Our engineers and our staff are working hard to try to investigate options and put information together to help try to address some of those concerns."

And while Kervian agrees that the sub station is needed she says she just wishes it wouldn't go in her neighborhood.

"The serenity and the peacefulness of it will certainly be lost with a sub station back there," Kervian says.

Empire is still seeking a permit to begin construction on the new sub station.

On Thursday September 13, Empire will host an open house for residents at South Middle School from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.  Residents will be able to voice their opinions and have questions answered at that time.

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