WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Giant metal power poles had many Northeast Wichita residents up in arms earlier this year. Now, they are learning when the poles could come down.
Evergy hosted an open house meeting on Tuesday night to get final input from the community.
“That way we can take that feedback and come up with a final design and go ahead and make the changes that were promised to this neighborhood last spring,” said Gina Penzig, Manager External Communications with Evergy.
The power company laid out its plans to get rid of the poles along Mossman and Green. The options are to replace the nearly 90-foot poles with shorter wood poles, install wood poles closer to the street, or leave the current steel poles as is. Choices some say aren’t enough.
“These are not options these are again dictated to us of what they are willing to do,” said Wakeelah Martinez, who owns a home in the area.
The poles are located in councilman Brandon Johnson’s district, and he’s been working to get the poles removed since they first went up last year. He said he would have like to have seen the poles replaced sooner but appreciates Evergy’s effort to work with the community on a decision.
“At the same time, we want to make sure we get this right because what happened was so wrong,” said Johnson.
Evergy said their focus, for now, is on replacing the poles along Mossman and Green. Johnson said there’s still a push to get all the poles in the neighborhood replaced in the near future.
“I’ve had residents on Hydraulic and 11th Street reaching out saying hey what about us,” said Johnson. “We’ve got these towers over here by our homes, and it’s affecting our property values and the ability to resale our houses.”
Johnson believes replacing the metal poles with wooden ones is the better option to return the neighborhood to some normalcy.
“That’s something that we’re used to so we don’t necessarily notice that but you can see a galvanized steel tower from a long way away,” said Johnson. “We just want to see the neighborhood restored and folks lives restored to what it was before.”
Evergy said after a final plan is decided, they expect to have the changes installed by the end of next year.