Westar Energy is offering additional compensation or home buyouts for homes affected by new, larger transmitter poles.
It is in response to complaints about property value and decreased neighborhood aesthetics. No one is being forced from their home.
The new transmitter poles, 57 in total, are about 105 feet tall as opposed to typical 65 foot poles.
Westar says the poles will connect three substations in northeast Wichita. See map below.
Tenants in the neighborhoods claimed they were not notified by their landlords about the new, larger poles, and homeowners were concerned for their property value.
While many were pleased to see action being taken, some said it was too little, too late.
“They need to compensate a lot of people in this neighborhood to get that taken care of. I want to ask everyone this question: Would you want a pole like that in your front yard? Probably not,” said State Rep. Gail Finney, D-Wichita.
“Our intent was good. We just could have communicated a little more apparently, and we learned from that and we will learn from this,” said Don Sherman, Vice President, Community Relations & Strategic Partnerships.
Residents who are qualified for the buyout and additional compensation will receive a priority letter from Sherman.