Electric power struggle over Sullivan County school site to be resolved

This BTES electric pole sparked the conflict with Appalachian Power. It was put up on July 25 to create an interstate crossing.

SULLIVAN COUNTY, Tenn. - A dispute between Appalachian Power and Bristol, Tennessee essential services is expected to be resolved in October. The Tennessee Public Utility Commission will review their arguments about a boundary dispute involving the site for the new Sullivan County high school.

The dirt is still freshly turned next to Bristol Tennessee Essential Services electric pole. Putting it up has sparked a legal battle with Appalachian Power.

Appalachian Power filed a petition stating that BTES is operating outside its legal territory.

"We had hoped to resolve the issue of BTES encroachment without having to take this step involving state commissioners," Kingsport Appalachian Power Manager Andy Shaffron said in a statement. "No resolution has been reached and BTES has not removed or expressed intentions to remove its recently-built facilities from our service area in Sullivan County."

BTES argues that it is within its limits.

"There was nothing there to negotiate," BTES CEO Mike Browder said. "They want to serve it. They... Evidently they think they have the right. We want to serve it, and we're pretty sure we have the right."

BTES put the pole in to set up an interstate crossing. Browder said they did it early so they wouldn't have any delays when construction began.

The public utility commission has assigned a three person panel to review the case on October 23.

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