April 15, 2013
UPDATE: CHEC files suit against
four Mirlo property owners
Wednesday, April 10, the Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative attorney
filed suit against four Mirlo Beach property owners to enforce the CHEC
bylaw provision regarding easements.
Section 1.08 of the
cooperative bylaws states, “Each member shall, upon being requested to
do so by the Cooperative, execute and deliver to the Cooperative grants
of easement or right-of-way over, on and under such lands owned or
leased by or mortgaged to the member, and in accordance with such
reasonable terms and conditions, as the Cooperative shall require for
the furnishing of electric service to him or other members or for the
construction, operation, maintenance or relocation of the Cooperative’s
In late 2012, Hurricane Sandy and
subsequent northeasters severely eroded the beach, dunes, and highway
in northern Rodanthe that once protected CHEC’s 115 kV transmission
line that provides electric service to Hatteras and Ocracoke islands.
To ensure reliability for our membership, CHEC has been working towards
moving that transmission line further west.
In late December
2012, letters were sent to affected members explaining the reason for
moving the line, and notifying them that their property would be
affected in some way. CHEC requested easements per the cooperative
by-laws applicable to all CHEC members.
In February and March,
follow-up letters were mailed to the same members by the cooperative’s
attorney with the easements for the members to sign and return, so that
the cooperative could commence the bid and construction schedule with a
target completion date of Aug. 30.
In late March, CHEC
officials met with members of the Mirlo Beach Property Onwers
Association, many of whom are not happy with the plan to relocate the
“Although the August completion date seems
unlikely at this point,” the cooperative said in a media release, “we
have reluctantly taken this action so that there are no unnecessary
Condemnation petitions will also be filed next week.
does not interfere with the use or ownership of property,” CHEC said.
“It is a court proceeding that allows CHEC to exercise easement rights.
In many cases, it will simply allow us to construct a transmission line
where a distribution line already exists.”
The release added
that “It is our hope that these proceedings will bring the parties to
the table so that just compensation can be determined and reliability
of service to all who reside on or visit Hatteras and Ocracoke islands
can be assured.”