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‘It’s like a gray cloud.’ UI transmission line project would upend Fairfield insurance business, owner says

Fairfield business owners are continuing to push back against United Illuminating's plans for a Transmission Line Rebuild project.

Angelica Toruno and Robyn Karashik

Nov 13, 2023, 5:14 PM

Updated 223 days ago


Fairfield business owners are continuing to push back against United Illuminating's plans for a Transmission Line Rebuild project.
The project would require some local businesses to relocate or shut down during reconstruction, driving away customers and dialing back on profits.
Boccarossa Insurance on Post Road is one of the properties, along with neighboring lots, that could be taken by eminent domain.
"It was disturbing…It's like a gray cloud hanging over my head," said Stephen Boccarossa.
Boccarossa is a second-generation insurance agent. His son has also stepped into the family business.
"It's been something I worked my whole life for and we're settled here, we're a part of the community," said Boccarossa.
The “proposed UI permanent easement” includes an orange line that runs through Boccarossa’s property.
"To find out that potentially I could lose the building that houses my business and provides my livelihood, it was distressful...distressful for sure,” said Boccarossa.
This was news to Boccarossa who had cemented hearty roots in town and had no plans of leaving.
That's why he's fighting alongside many other residents; Boccarossa is one of the confirmed interveners.
"That was like a [sigh] at least I have a voice,” said Boccarossa.
The Connecticut Siting Council will continue its evidentiary hearing through Zoom on Thursday at 2 p.m.
In a statement to News 12, UI Spokesperson Sarah Wall Fliotsos said: “Throughout the course of the Fairfield to Congress Transmission Line Rebuild Project, UI’s expectation and objective is to avoid the use of an eminent domain proceeding. Once the Connecticut Siting Council provides approval to UI’s proposed project or one of the alternatives under Docket 516, UI would begin good-faith negotiations with the affected property-owners to outline the easement areas needed to safely perform the project construction. Then, alongside the property-owners, UI would work collaboratively through the development of an easement that allow the co-habitation of UI’s transmission facilities and the existing use of permanent fixtures, such as buildings, sheds and parking lots. UI remains committed to open, transparent dialogue throughout this process as we move forward with essential improvements to the reliability and resiliency of the statewide transmission grid.”

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