Pancoast project in Barnegat causes concern


Sep 27, 2003
I heard they were going to run them right down Pancoast Rd.

Pancoast project in Barnegat causes concern

Staff Writer
BARNEGAT -- Residents of an age-restricted community are concerned that the relocation of the high voltage lines by Conectiv could have a negative impact on their community.

Residents of Heritage Point, a senior development located between Pancoast Road and West Bay Avenue, have expressed concern about the lines, which are part of an project that runs from Atlantic County to Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station, being located along the back of the development's properties.

The lines were originally proposed to run along an easement that run between fellow senior developments Mirage and Pheasant Run, but were moved after the township and representatives of Conectiv agreed to place them along Pancoast Road.

"We were never told anything like this was going on," said Gene Bisignano, the vice president of the board of directors of Heritage Point. "I think this is a railroad job."

Heritage Point features 120 current residents, said Bisignano. When it is completed, over the next decade, there will be 931 homes on the site.

"There are some homes when the site is completed that will be closer than 100 yards to the lines," Bisignano said. "Right now we do not know what the health impacts of the lines are or what they are going to be."

Bisignano has been in contact with Mignatti Company, the company in charge of the construction of the development.

"I meet with Stephen McKenna (a vice president of Mignatti) and he said that he was not happy with the situation," Bisignano said. "He said he was going to have his lawyer look into the situation."

Calls to McKenna Philadelphia office were not returned.

Conectiv officials declined to comment on the specifics of the application, which is in the process of being reviewed by the Board of Public Utilities.

"Right the application is in the hands of the Board (of Public Utilities)," said Betty Kennedy, spokeswomen for Conectiv. "We have reached an agreement with the effected parties, Barnegat, Ocean Township and Ocean County."

W. Bryan Dempsay, administrator for Barnegat, said the issue now is between the Conectiv and the developer.

"All of the municipalities affected by the moving of the lines have signed off on the plan," Dempsay said. "We are really out of the plan."

Residents of the senior development are going to meet with the township committee at 4 p.m today at the Municipal Complex to discuss the moving of the lines and the effect it will have on the community.

Conectiv has proposed three miles of lines running south from Lacey through the woods, along the eastbound lane of West Bay Avenue and then south along the western edge of the Garden State Parkway.

The lines in the woods would be through a one-mile section where transmission lines are already located. The legs along West Bay Avenue and the parkway, each a mile long, would be part of a new high-voltage power delivery corridor.

The additional transmission lines would be part of a 50-mile, high-voltage system stretching from the Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station in Lacey to Egg Harbor Township in Atlantic County.

Eric Hartsfield, a spokesman for the board, said members of the board are in the process of reviewing the testimony that was given during evidentiary hearing March 15 and 16 in Trenton.

"Right now it looks like a decision could be made as early as mid-April," Hartsfield said. "But that date could change."

Nicholas Huba: (609) 978-4538 or

Published in the Times Beacon Newspapers 03/24-25/04


Here is another one

Barnegat, utility settle dispute over line's path

Published in the Asbury Park Press 3/17/04
TRENTON -- Conectiv Power Delivery's upgraded transmission lines won't be going through two age-restricted communities in Barnegat, under a settlement agreement filed yesterday before the state Board of Public Utilities by the township and utility.

Township residents have been critical of Conectiv's plan to upgrade its lines from 69 to 230 kilovolts in Ocean and Atlantic counties because they would be less than 50 feet from some homes in the Pheasant Run and Mirage communities off West Bay Avenue.

The agreement requires the final approval of the BPU, which has been hearing Conectiv's application and concluded a two-day evidentiary hearing on the matter yesterday. The BPU will accept closing briefs until March 29 but has not set a deadline on a decision. Conectiv officials hope to begin construction this summer.

The new plan would take the lines behind the communities along Pancoast Road to West Bay Avenue, where they would head south into Ocean Acres before crossing the Garden State Parkway to head south to Atlantic County.

It would place the lines within 100 feet of about three homes in Pheasant Run. The old plan would have placed the lines within 35 to 50 feet of about 70 homes.

"I think it's a solution. Unfortunately, nothing is perfect," said Mirage resident Ron Haunss, who praised township officials for coming up with the plan. "While it affects other people, it's not as many. And you're not as close to the power lines as you were."

Barnegat Township Attorney Jerry Dasti said Mayor Virginia Novrit suggested the route, which proved a simple solution to a yearlong problem.

"Sometimes you're too close to the forest to see the trees," he said.

Board of Public Utilities Commissioner Frederick F. Butler commended the plan.

"This was one of the major problems we faced," he said. "I'm glad to see you've successfully negotiated a settlement that's in the best interest of everyone."

$25,000 payment
As part of the deal, Conectiv would pay Barnegat $25,000 to cover some of its legal fees and for an easement on township property where the lines cross the parkway.
At a BPU hearing on the plan yesterday, officials from Eagleswood and Bass River presented proposals to route the lines away from homes. Conectiv lawyer John Aleli pointed out that those plans, however, would require waivers from the state Pinelands Commission.

However, those proposed upgrades may not be needed, state Sen. Leonard T. Connors, R-Ocean, said. He sent a letter to the BPU requesting a hearing on a plan to build a 340-megawatt gas-fired generating system in Hamilton Township, close to where the Conectiv proposal ends.

Peter Lalor, president of Commonwealth Shore Power LLC, based in West Virginia, said if the plant were built, it would eliminate the need for lines south of the Cedar Creek Substation in Stafford.

Gregory J. Volpe: (609) 978-4584 or