Westar Responds To Concerns About Electric Poles In Northeast Wichita

Sep 10, 2018

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."

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

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.