Archive for Tuesday, July 3, 2001

Uncertainty about proposed power plant prompts concerns for nearby resident

July 3, 2001

Bud Jones is all for electricity.

"I have no problem with the building of power plants," Jones said. "But boy, I sure would like some more information."

The Rev. Bud Jones lives about 10 miles northeast of Tonganoxie,
near land on which a firm hopes to construct an electricity plant.
Behind Jones is the KPL Stranger Creek substation.

The Rev. Bud Jones lives about 10 miles northeast of Tonganoxie, near land on which a firm hopes to construct an electricity plant. Behind Jones is the KPL Stranger Creek substation.

If a proposed power plant were constructed at 195th Street and Bauserman Road, Jones, who is pastor at High Prairie Gospel Tabernacle Church, would find it almost in his own front yard.

Jones lives about 10 miles northeast of Tonganoxie, just across the road south from land where Duke Energy North America has secured an option for the possible site for a natural-gas fueled electrical generating plant.

The rural church he pastors is a two-minute drive from the house that Jones and his wife, Kay, built on 2.5 acres six years ago.

Jones, who has served as pastor of High Prairie Church for 15 years, said he realizes that growth is changing the quiet rural area he loves. For instance, in just 15 years, his own church's attendance has grown from 30 to more than 160.

"The area too is going to continue to grow," Jones said. "But it would be nice to know where and how."

Specific questions of his would pinpoint the predicted amount of traffic a power plant would create, as well as the impact of a plant on the value of his home. Also, he just wants to know what a power plant would look like.

"I know it's a $200 million power plant," Jones said. "But that really doesn't tell me a thing."

And, Jones said, he has environmental concerns:

"If I'm going to stay here, how will that affect my quality of health?"

No stranger to power lines, Jones on his daily morning walk crosses beneath large trunk lines leaving the KPL Stranger Creek substation, about one-eighth of a mile from his house. Here, there are sounds of nature the rustle of grass, the trill of a red-winged blackbird and the song of the eastern meadowlark. And, Jones notes, there are also man-made sounds.

"Hear the crackle in the lines?" he says.

One can hear the quiet hum of the machinery from the substation, but Jones says to listen closer for the crackling sound that emanates from the overhead lines.

This, he can live with, he said.

But he said he wonders could he live with a full-fledged power plant just across the road.

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