Substation concerns residents

Three area residents testified Tuesday during an Ohio Power Siting Board public hearing on a substation proposed by American Electric Power to bolster northwest Ohio’s electric service and reliability.

The Melmore Substation would be a 138-kilovolt switching substation built on 2.4 acres in Eden Township owned by AEP. The preferred location would be on the east side of TR 17, north of Center Road, with an alternate site on the west side of the road. Both sites are about 4 miles southeast of Tiffin.

AEP has applied for a certificate of environmental compatibility and public need to construct a switching substation meant to upgrade transmission reliability and increase the quality of electric service in the Tiffin-Fremont area, according to information handed out by OPSB.

Sixteen people attended the hearing at Camden Falls, including OPSB and AEP representatives.

Mike Feasel, who lives near the site and farms land next to it, said he had not been informed of the proposed project until he received a binder of information in the mail.

“We’re right on top of it is what it comes down to,” Feasel said.

He was concerned about an old house on his property, which he had possibly planned to replace.

He asked questions, which were referred to AEP representatives to answer after the meeting.

Ruth Feasel was concerned about the size of the substation and wondered if field tile would be replaced after construction.

“AEP owns the land, but it’s in our back yard,” she said. “We look at it every day.”

Dorothy Berg, who lives about 1 1/2 miles from the site, testified about her concern that a proper environmental study be completed before a decision is made.

“I’m concerned about the environmental impact in the area,” she said.

After the meeting, the AEP project manager assured Berg a study had been done and there would be little or no effect on the bald eagles along the Sandusky River or other wildlife.

The next step in the process is an adjudicator hearing scheduled for 10 a.m. April 3 at OPSB’s offices in downtown Columbus. At the hearing, OPSB staff and other interested people will have an opportunity to offer expert testimony.

Anyone who wishes to comment in writing about the proposed project can send letters to Ohio Power Siting Board, 180 E. Broad St., Columbus, OH 43215 or online at Use case No. 13-0522-EL-BSB in correspondence.