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Installment of power lines cause concern for student safety from North Vermilion School Officials

North Vermillion Schools are concerned for student safety. It has to do with power lines being installed right beside their schools.

Posted: Oct 21, 2020 6:36 PM

CAYUGA, Ind. (WTHI) - North Vermillion Schools are concerned for student safety. It has to do with power lines being installed right beside their schools.

There are several large poles with high voltage transmission lines being installed right in front of North Vermillion Community Schools. The Voltage Lines are coming from the Jordan Creek Wind Farm that is being constructed in Warren County. Even though the transmission lines are not on school corporation property, Superintendent Dan Nelson says there is a definite safety issue here.

Nelson says this all began back in August. The companies wanted the school to sign an agreement in the event that power lines came on to school corporation property. North Vermillion investigated the situation and didn’t want to sign it as a safety precaution.

Even though the transmission lines are not on the corporation property, school officials feel that the high voltage produced from the transmission lines pose a health risk to students and staff.

“I have a power line literally 120 feet away from my corporation office,” Nelson explained, “It’s within 100 feet of where we park busses for kids. We just don’t feel it’s very safe.”

Parents on WTHI’s Facebook page agree. One parent commented in part, “I think it’s concerning. Those poles are extremely high voltage. I would feel a bit more comfortable as a parent if they were located on the other side of the highway and not feet from where my children get on and off the bus.”

Nelson says the school corporation reached out to the companies to simply move the lines across State Road 63, but he says their requests have “fallen on deaf ears”.

“They’re just going to continue to move on because they have a deadline,” Nelson concluded, “I just think this is about money and they can do it. We just don’t think it’s right, but it’s hard to fight those big utility companies.”

Nelson said the school corporation used their legal counsel, but according to him, legally the companies do not have to move the poles. Nelson sent a letter to all NVCS parents alerting them of the situation, laying out their efforts to combat the problem, and calling on them to reach out to the companies to voice their displeasure with the placement of these poles.

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