A public hearing on a controversial overhead transmission line near Manassas's historic district has been scheduled for Nov. 19 at the Prince William Judicial Center in Manassas, according to a spokesman with the State Corporation Commission.
After receiving numerous complaints, the State Corporation Commission ordered its staff earlier this month to reopen public hearings on Virginia Power's proposed 230-kilovolt line. The commission, which regulates lines 150 kilovolts and above, had already received a staff recommendation to approve the power line.
Manassas residents, who have said they were unaware of public hearings held last winter, have argued that the proposed power line would spoil the character of Old Town. They have proposed that Virginia Power bury the line where it borders the historic district.
The commission's order to reopen the hearings was a response to a request by Historic Manassas Inc., a nonprofit organization working for historic preservation and economic development in Old Town.
Although open to the public, the 10 a.m. hearing will limited to presentations by designated speakers for Historic Manassas and Virginia Power and on only two issues: the line's possible impact on Old Town and the proposal to bury the line.
The power line, which would stretch 6 1/2 miles from an electrical facility near Clifton to Manassas, is critical to meeting the future electrical needs of Northern Virgnia, according to Virginia Power spokesman James Norvelle. The line is scheduled for completion by fall 1992.
Burying the line for the short length near Old Town, which may not be technically feasible, could cost an additional $5 million, according to Norvelle. The complete line is estimated to cost $6 million to $7 million.
Running the line five miles around the city could double the cost to $13 million to $16 million, according to Norvelle. He also said changing the route could delay completion of the project two to five years.