BLM, Rocky Mountain Power agree on new power line to feed west end of Beaver County

BEAVER COUNTY, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) - Often times it's a power struggle when state or county governments collide with the feds, but in this case the power is going to the locals literally.

State and county leaders haven't been shy lately about their frustrations with the BLM and the battle for control. Monday there was a different tone though, as officials put pen to paper on a joint effort to keep the lights on in the west side of Beaver County.

In the city of Milford there can be big problems with the power.

"The transmission system here is so weak under certain circumstances the voltage gets reduced and then we either have to interrupt their service or they live a while with the brown outs," said Richard Walje, CEO of Rocky Mountain Power.

Those who live and do business here have been dealing with that for about 20 years and there just isn't enough power to manage growth in this mineral rich part of our state.

"We need that power to sustain, to be able to create and build more economic base on these mining projects and even other economic factors," Mark Whitney, Beaver County Commissioner.

That's why Beaver County Commissioners approached Rocky Mountain Power and the BLM in search of solutions.

Together they decided the answer is a new, 138,000 watt power line that will run from the mouth of beaver canyon to Milford... It will compliment the 46,000 watt line that feeds the city now.

Rocky Mountain and the BLM signed off on amendments and permits in about half the time it usually takes to get to this point.

"When we are able to move faster, quicker to solve these problems is when all of us are able to work together towards a common goal," said Juan Palma, BLM State Director.

Business, environmental groups and government coming to the table, meeting face to face to deliver the power to the people.

"This goes to show you that if Washington DC could allow government to be closer to the people, to make the decisions this is how well it goes," said Whitney.

Construction on the Cameron to Milford power line will likely begin next spring. It should start to provide power to the area by the end of next year.

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