In my holler today, we had a perfect example of FirstEnergy’s contempt for private property in WV.
As I have noted on The Power Line, a 138 kV transmission line owned by FirstEnergy subsidiary Mon Power crosses the narrow valley where I live in southern Calhoun County. The power line right-of-way crosses the state road in our holler, so Mon Power and its contractors have direct access to the right-of-way from the public road. The hillsides are steep, however, and you can’t ride four wheelers up them to check the condition of the right-of-way on the ridge tops.
In the past, Asplundh workers have accessed the right-of-way from our road. They did so for about a week several years ago, and we saw their litter build up day after day along the road, until we asked them nicely to please leave our holler in the same condition in which they found it.
This afternoon, an orange Asplundh truck drove up our road and parked on my neighbor’s tractor road next to one of my meadows. Asplundh workers drove four wheelers out of the truck and up a logging road across the land owned by two of my neighbors. Asplundh is a contractor with Mon Power which contracts to clear right-of-way in our area. The Asplundh employees never stopped at any of the residences on our road to ask permission to park or travel across my neighbors’ land. They just did it.
Mon Power has no permission to use any access roads in any of the right-of-way agreements that established the right-of-way for the 138 kV line. Mon Power and its contractors must either travel only on the right-of-way, or they must get separate permission to cross any other private property.
Did they do that in this case? No. The Asplundh employees didn’t even have the decency to knock on my neighbors’ doors and ask permission. Both my neighbors were home today.
This is a very mundane example, but it shows clearly that Ohio corporation FirstEnergy, its subsidiary Mon Power, and its out of state contractor Asplundh, have utter contempt for the institution of private property in West Virginia.
My neighbor did put a note on the truck windshield informing Asplundh that they were not welcome to help themselves to her access road again.