NIPSCO has confirmed the building project on U.S. 35 just north of the city of Knox is in fact a new electric substation. NIPSCO’s Director of External Communications, Nick Meyer, told WKVI that the construction taking place on the east side of U.S. 35 is a joint venture with Kankakee Valley REMC to help boost the voltage in the Knox area.
Meyer explained the company has obtained their state highway permits which are required for a driveway, and they’ve also received their permits for the electric line work to allow the use of utility poles leading up to the facility. Generally, Meyer explained, NIPSCO is exempt from other local permits, including building permits, because of their capacity as a state-regulated utility provider.
On top of that, Meyer said the site of the future substation is just outside of the limits of Knox, which exempts the site from a number of local permits.
City Building Administrator Greg Matt was not available yesterday to provide an update, but said previously that he believes permits are required for NIPSCO’s project and he would be looking into the matter further.
Meyer said he is hoping an engineer from the team working on the substation will be able to contact city officials to correct the miscommunication.