These are our dots, these are our numbers!

After reading through posts about your “dots”, I understand what your dots are and what they represent. Stories about farms, family history, an agriculture vocation, a lifestyle, your piece of the American Dream! How did “we” evolve from a society that rewarded hard work, independence and the American Dream to one where “the people” are battling large corporations to hold on to their dot, their piece of the “Dream”?

Each one of us is also a dot. We all have our own stories to tell. In New Jersey, we are also numbers. Our number indicates how many feet our dots are away from FirstEnergy’s proposed high voltage power line. If built the Monmouth County Reliability Project will sit as close as 10-15 feet away from some of our community homes, schools, parks, a historic district and senior living centers over an active commuter train line.

FirstEnergy hosted open house meetings last spring and told residents that they did not have any information about pole placement or properties. Yet, our community was able to obtain maps created by an engineering firm that date back several years prior to their open house meeting. These maps indicate the location where over 100 monopoles would be built. The right of way where FirstEnergy wants to install these lines is roughly 100′ wide and many homes are located within 200′. Surely, we all had questions.

Where will the monopoles go? How many trees will have to be cleared? What chemicals will be used on the right of way? Do I have to remove my shed, my pool? Will my yard be taken and used as an easement? How will our school and town budgets be affected when property values decline? Will trees on my property that buffer my home from the noise of the trains have to be removed? Will the lines buzz? What about living in such close proximity to the emf? Will train signals be affected? Will my home be located within the fall zone?

FirstEnergy had no regard for “the people”. We are just dots, we are just numbers. Our communities rely on property tax revenue from our dots. This revenue funds the majority of our school and town budgets. What will happen to our communities since so many of our dots would be located within feet of high voltage lines that may reach up to 210′? As taxpayers in a state with the highest property taxes in the nation, it is likely we will be asked to pay more to own our dots. Those same dots will be worth less as they will change the quality of life as we know it.

Our towns will never be the same. Our dots will never be the same. Our piece of the American Dream will be sabotaged by a giant corporation that has no regard for us, our families, our homes. We have all worked so hard to buy and make our houses “home”. Our piece of the American Dream, but to FirstEnergy we are just a dot, we are just a number!