Published in The Woodruff Times on December 22, 2022
Subject: Duke Energy Proposed Substation in Green Pond Community
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:
Were you fortunate enough to hear and see the wonderful wildlife (owls, cardinals, bob whites, whip-poor-wills, Chuck will’s-widow, etc.) that we in the Green Pond Community have enjoyed through the years? If you were deprived of this, you perhaps do not understand my concern for my family and their future generations being deprived of this wonderful experience.
I was born in my grandmother and grandfather’s home in 1930. My mother was born in the same home in 1897. My family is still enjoying this old home with family reunions attended by as many as 60 members coming from several states to have the opportunity to enjoy wonderful country environment. Many were upset when Covid prevented our annual gathering. The Arnold and Drummond families have been land owners in the area since the 1800’s—and possibly prior to that date.
Green Pond Baptist Church has been a gathering place since about 1811 for worshiping and learning while visiting with neighbors. The rich history of our church spans many generations as verified by the history written by some of my ancestors. Many of those are now resting in the church graveyard. Lower Shady Grove Church, a vital part of the community, has been very active as long as I can remember, and was for many years prior to my birth.
With at least four generations before me and four after me (and I hope many more to follow), I do not want anything coming to eradicate the joy we have shared in this treasured area.
Why were citizens who would be negatively impacted not notified of your planned purchase and use of the property at the intersection of Green Pond Road and Highway 417? Citizens should have had a voice at that stage of your dubious planning.
Who will benefit from this substation? To my knowledge our immediate area has no need for this facility. With BMW expansion, a new Woodruff high school, and hundreds of residential buildings all within a mile of the town of Woodruff, tell me why a substation located nearer those large electric customers would not be feasible.
Our property was damaged beginning in the 1960’s by having 3 pipelines cutting across the land and creeks. We do not need or want any further destruction or insecurities endangering our cherished family, flora, and wildlife. A naturalist from Asheville walked with us through our hardwood forest and identified several rare species of plants in the bottoms (wetlands) near Little Ferguson Creek. Please send me any surveys you have conducted.
I bitterly oppose the location of a Duke Energy substation being constructed at the intersection of Green Pond Road and Highway 417 and any resulting transmission lines. Be assured that I plan to voice my opposition and displeasure to all contacts possible.
I am 92 years old, but “I ain’t dead yet.” I don’t know how many more years I have, but I have family members who need many more years of peaceful country living without hazardous possibilities interrupting their lives.
Be assured that I will contact local and state legislators, media, local and state agencies, and farm and environmental agencies.
by Gail Hipp Kendall
Class of 1947, Woodruff High School