(CBS) – There’s a big power struggle in the western suburbs, with serious concerns about health and safety versus money.

ComEd wants to set up some new high-power lines near the back yards of several people who live there.

CBS 2’s Mike Parker reports.

Homeowner Tom Redmond, along with dozens of his neighbors in the Sugar Ridge subdivision in South Elgin, have been making noise for weeks now. They want to stop a huge ComEd construction plan.

Property values, they say, could plummet 30 percent.

ComeEd is waiting for approval from the Illinois Commerce Commission to build a string of high-voltage towers on a 60-mile stretch of land from Ogle County all the way west to Wayne Township in DuPage.

The homes of Sugar Ridge are in that path.

“When its constructed and in service, it should result in excess of over $500 million in net savings over 15 years,” ComEd CEO Terry Donnelly says.

But Scott Richmond, a South Elgin trustee, says the power lines would cross school properties, worrying parents.

Residents also worry about studies that suggest living close to high power lines increases the leukemia risk among children.

ComEd will say only that it hears those concerns.

“We take that very seriously and we factor in extensive feedback from the communities,” Donnelly says.

The ICC is expected to rule on the ComEd request in the next few months.


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