The Arab Electric Cooperative’s first “Positive Energy” meeting with members drew nearly 30 people Thursday morning and also created some breaking news of sorts.

The topic for the first meeting centered on the new Sweet Home substation and various issues related to it. According to a TVA representative attending the meeting, an open house to discuss TVA’s line route to the new substation has tentatively been scheduled for Sept. 12.

The date has not been set in stone, according to TVA customer service manager Robby Jones, but it will be on or around that date.

“It will be held somewhere in the Arab area, after business hours, and when the date and meeting place is set, we’ll give members and landowners proper notification,” Jones said.

All potential and TVA-preferred routes will be discussed at the open house, and two to three months later, TVA will decide the final route, according to Jones.

AEC general manager Scott Spence said it’s still too early to tell how much the project will cost but he estimated it to be in the $4 million range. When told by a member that some are suggesting the total cost of the Sweet Home project and the planned upgrade of two other substations, including the one off Sundrive Drive, could be as high as $14-15 million, Spence said those estimates are “laughably high.”

For more on this story please pick up Wednesday’s Tribune or purchase an e-edition.

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