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Stories focused on energy & environment topics throughout the state of Kansas.

Westar Responds To Concerns About Electric Poles In Northeast Wichita

After a public outcry last week, Westar Energy is taking another look at addressing concerns about electric poles being installed in some residents' front yards.

Westar’s plan is to upgrade the entire transmission system, including in near-northeast Wichita. The plan includes large metal poles, about 105 feet high, planted in more than 50 yards.

Angelica Calabria rents her home near 11th and Green and has a pole in front of her house.

“No me gusta," Calabria says. Her daughter translates: "She doesn't like it."

Credit Carla Eckels / KMUW
Westar's Don Sherman and Wichita City Council member Brandon Johnson hold a media briefing Monday to address concerns from residents about electric poles.

Don Sherman, Westar’s vice president of community relations and strategic partnerships, says the company will pay additional compensation to homeowners who want to stay in their homes.

"If you are a homeowner that wants to move from the house, we will buy your house," Sherman said. "If you are a tenant that lives in that house ... we want to talk about additional compensation for you living in a house with a big pole in front of it.”

The company says it has no evidence of property values going down in the area due to the poles.

Carla Eckels is director of cultural diversity and the host of Soulsations. Follow her on Twitter @Eckels. To contact KMUW News or to send in a news tip, reach us at news@kmuw.org.

Carla Eckels is Director of Organizational Culture at KMUW. She produces and hosts the R&B and gospel show Soulsations and brings stories of race and culture to The Range with the monthly segment In the Mix. Carla was inducted into The Kansas African American Museum's Trailblazers Hall of Fame in 2020 for her work in broadcast/journalism.