POCATELLO, Idaho - After a final hearing in Pocatello on Monday morning, U.S District Judge Lynn Winmill said he would likely rule by the end of the week on a lawsuit challenging Idaho Falls' North Loop transmission line.
Representatives of the Alliance for Property Rights said the judge indicated he expected the issue would require further clarification by the next Idaho legislature.
Alliance Co-Chairman Brian Reed said the key legal issue is whether or not a utility has authority to condemn property outside its established service territory. Idaho Falls wants to build the transmission line from its Sunnyside Road substation to the Sugar Mill substation northeast of the Idaho Falls Country Club. Forty-two property owners declined what they call "under valued" offers from the city to purchase rights for the construction project.
Idaho Falls Power said the transmission line is critical to meet its obligations to provide reliable electric service to its customers.