Hand in Hand around High Voltage Lines: ‘Our Health Centers’

Martin Altena lives near the high voltage lines in Zutphen. © Omrup Gelderland

Representative Jan van der Mer
Representative Jan van der Mer © Omrup Gelderland

GroenLinks board member Dolf Logemann on high voltage lines in Zutphen.
GroenLinks board member Dolf Logemann on high voltage lines in Zutphen. © Omrup Gelderland

Zutveen-Zutveen for eight municipalities in Gelderland: There are only two million people left in the county to lay the high voltage lines underground. The eight municipalities want it because of the health risks.

“Very disappointing,” said Dolph Loggemann, a Groenlinks councilor from Zutphen. “We have a big health problem in Zutphen, about 1,000 families live near the high voltage lines. So $2 million for eight municipalities is just a pittance.”

There is some evidence that children who live near power lines have a higher chance of developing leukemia than other children. This may have something to do with the magnetic fields generated by the lines.

Some municipalities get nothing

Eight municipalities of the county have requested a financial contribution to connect the cables: Apeldoorn, Arnhem, Ede, Ermelo, Hatem, Lingward, Overbetwe, Wageningen and Zutphen. But not everyone can be helped with these two million.

Some of those municipalities are now getting nothing. “Municipalities that have come a long way can demand money. For other municipalities: new round, new opportunities. If a new council takes office in 2023, it can renegotiate,” van der Meer says.

Watch the video. The text continues below.

Hand in hand to cut power lines: “Our Health Centers”

Up to half a million

Zutphen and Apeldoorn are municipalities that have already started connecting cables. According to the commissioner, they are eligible for a contribution in any case.

It is not yet known how the two million will be divided, but Zutphen does not have to count on half a million, according to the deputy. This amount may be less, but we haven’t determined that yet. ”

Cable costs are much higher, but the government is paying a lot more. Municipalities must also contribute, but are often unable to do so. In Zutphen that’s about four million. “Of course all money is welcome, but four million is still a huge amount for a mid-sized municipality like Zutphen,” says Logemann. He wants more money and is trying to arrange it through his party members in the province.

“The problem of the center comes before health”

Resident Martin Altina’s talk has completely finished discussing money. He lives in Zutphen almost under the power lines. “After all the studies on the potential health risks, you think people are now seeing the need for it. It’s becoming a matter of money.”

Altena wants the cables to go away ASAP, especially for the many young families in his Leesten neighborhood. “They should have been underground years ago. Then you’ll get rid of all the trouble. Then the kids can play safely and stay here.”

Are the plans now in jeopardy?

The municipality of Zutphen has announced that the cable plans will not change due to the county’s small contribution. But after next year’s election, there will be a new council and a new city council in Zutphen. “In theory, there’s a chance the city council will continue to give up cables, but I don’t expect that,” councilman Logemann said.

Earlier this year, the municipality of Apeldoorn decided to move the high-voltage lines underground over the De Matin district. According to spokesman Roel van Vimde, the boycott decision has no bearing on the plans.

Apeldoorn, along with other municipalities, says it is still considering responding to the boycott. The provincial council will discuss the proposal next Wednesday.

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