Port Washington residents and lawmakers are urging PSEG Long Island to stop work on a high-voltage cable on 85-foot poles from Port Washington to Great Neck, saying the project threatens to "box us off from the rest of Long Island."
Their pleas are similar to residents of East Hampton, where a similar transmission line run on large poles through their neighborhood has evoked outrage and similar demands for the work to stop and the lines to go underground.
PSEG Long Island has vowed to continue work on both projects, saying the cables are needed to assure reliability for the coming peak summer season.
PSEG spokesman Jeff Weir said the utility would work with residents to eventually bury the lines, as long as it can arrange the financing.
Thursday, two state lawmakers issued a statement urging Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to intervene on behalf of Port Washington and other North Hempstead town residents who are horrified that the six-mile, 69,000-volt line is being run along major thoroughfares.
Sen. Jack Martins (R-Mineola) and Assemb. Michelle Schimel (D-Great Neck) asked Cuomo to direct the state Public Service Commission to intercede in the project as it did in East Hampton, asking for information on costs, undergrounding alternatives and other matters.
A meeting among PSEG representatives, local officials and residents is set for March 24 at the Harbor Links Golf Course at 7 p.m. Weir described the meeting as an "informational workshop," not a public hearing.
Judi Bosworth, North Hempstead Town Supervisor, and Councilwoman Dina De Giorgio, of Port Washington, told residents at a town board meeting Tuesday night that they had spoken with David Daly, PSEG Long Island's president and chief operating officer, and received assurances the town may receive the same concessions as East Hampton.
Some residents have been fervent in their opposition.
"Our mission is to stop the project now," said Christine Hogan, a Port Washington resident and attorney, whose group, Keep the North Shore Beautiful, has amassed some 900 signatures in a petition against the project. "Nobody was given the opportunity to talk about this" and explore alternatives before the work started in earnest this year.
Annette Oestreich, a board member of Residents for a More Beautiful Port Washington, pushed for underground wires at Tuesday's town board meeting, saying they are safer, given motorist collisions, and would eliminate the risk of power outages caused by downed wires.