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Sudbury Homeowners Fight Eversource Power Line Plan

SUDBURY (CBS) - After 23 years of great memories Cathy and Bryce Boothby are ready to sell their home, but feel they can't because of the Sudbury to Hudson Reliability Project that would allow Eversource to install high-voltage power lines just a few feet from their beautifully landscaped backyard.

"Cathy has talked to four realtors and all said don't bother listing it because no one will buy it until this matter is resolved," Bryce said.

Protect Sudbury sign (WBZ-TV)

Eversource's power lines would run about nine miles on an abandoned rail line impacting about 500 homes, causing outrage from families like Ray Phillips, who started a grassroots non-profit called Protect Sudbury.

"It's going to affect residents and conservation land that the town has set a side," Phillips said.

Eversource says upgrades in the electric grid are necessary to handle future demands. "ISO New England identified several issues in terms of reliability, future load growth and also some redundancy in that transmission grid that we need to meet federal requirements, " Eversource spokesperson Mike Durand said.

Sudbury to Hudson Reliability Project
Sudbury to Hudson Reliability Project (WBZ-TV)

Eversource presented three options which include: overhead power lines, underground power lines or through the town of Sudbury which is what residents prefer but comes with heavy cost. "There are a lot of turns which electrically is not good. It will disrupt the businesses and traffic and much higher cost for customers who pay for these projects," Durand said.

Durand also says Eversource is leaning toward the underground route along the abandoned MBTA corridor to help alleviate residents' concern of the tall power lines going through backyards. "What we designed as our preferred route is to go along the MBTA right of way because it's the straightest point from the two sub stations," Durand said.

Realtor Laura Meier of Black Horse Real Estate says sellers can either wait or rent their home until the Eversource matter is resolved. "If your home is your biggest asset then you need to wait it out and renting with option to buy is one of those steps," Meier said.

The Energy Facilities Siting Board will make the final decision on which direction Eversource can take next year. Boothby hopes the entire projects gets derailed just like their plans to sell.

"I hope they make a decision quickly because a buyer will not buy it without a decision," Cathy said.

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