- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 4, 2014

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - Wasilla officials are at odds with the Matanuska Electric Association over how to supply more power to the city as it continues to grow.

The utility wants to install above ground towers to carry power lines into the downtown core, but officials want the far more expensive option of burying the lines instead, KTUU (https://is.gd/2kiIQr) reported.

Dozens of local business owners gathered Tuesday at a Greater Wasilla Chamber of Commerce meeting, where MEA officials provided an update on transition lines.

MEA discussed four options for supplying additional power.

The options are to bury the lines underground, do nothing at all, reroute the lines outside of town or appeal a recent decision to run the lines along the Parks Highway.

Also discussed were drawbacks to the options, such as rolling blackouts if the system remains unchanged.

An underground option would come with a $40 million price tag. It’s a cost that ultimately would fall on consumers.

“As a co-op, that’s what we have to do,” MEA spokeswoman Julie Estey said. “Whoever causes the cost needs to pay those costs as far as being a cooperative - so the rates, the extra charge, would be directly given to the residents of Wasilla.”

The public process began more than a year ago. A final decision is expected to be made by the association within the next few months, according to MEA officials.


Information from: KTUU-TV, https://www.ktuu.com

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