EAGLE MOUNTAIN Despite the pleas of homeowners, Eagle Mountain's City Council voted to condemn portions of several residents' front lawns to make way for 90-foot-tall power lines.
Residents who attended the meeting Tuesday said they thought the city should buy houses across the street and place the poles there. One of the two homes is for sale.
Linda Peterson, Eagle Mountain city spokeswoman, said the amount of growth the town is experiencing requires more power lines, which need to be put in quickly in order to prevent rolling blackouts.
The City Council offered residents Kim and Karen O'Donnell $16,000 for the use of their land a price they believe is too low because it will ruin the value of their property.
"This is just another case of (the City Council) not caring about the people," Kim O'Donnell said. "They may as well put bars around our property because we're prisoners now. ... Only in Eagle Mountain."
The O'Donnells own and operate Friends in Need Animal Rescue-Sanctuary at their home and had hoped to expand it, possibly selling to go to a larger place. Kim O'Donnell said the decision makes it so they wouldn't be able to sell their property since a power pole will be in their front yard.
Peterson said the city began looking at options for more power seven years ago. More recent studies were conducted to determine where power poles could go.
Peterson also said the city tried to involve the residents who could be affected, but didn't receive any feedback until the final processes began
"This option is the least intrusive and uses the taxpayers money most wisely," she said. "It doesn't lessen the frustration of the people involved, but it wasn't an easy decision (for the city)."
She added that this option was for the "greater good of the whole population," because it affected so few people.
Peterson stressed that the lines won't be directly in front of a house, but will be placed 75 to 100 feet in front of the homes.The city will put an easement on the land and not confiscate anyone's property. She said the city felt using an easement was less intrusive than taking a whole house. She also said the money offered to the residents is still being negotiated.