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Alliant Substation Approved

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS 2/FOX 28) -- Residents in one Southeast Cedar Rapids neighborhood have been fighting back against a proposed Alliant energy substation for months.

Alliant says the station is necessary to meet energy demands, adding that the location they chose was the best possible location. Neighbors, however, say it will damage their way of life.

Minutes after 4-1 vote from the Board of Adjustment in favor of the substation was handed down Monday, you could hear the disappointment echo through city hall.

"I know the mayor talks about wanting to fill this community with families that work...well they had one and they just kicked us out of here!" says resident Jennifer Van Hyfte.

"Thanks for saying you don't want us apart of Cedar Rapids...goodbye!"

Van Hyfte wasn't the only one that was upset.

"I was really wishing they would have more consideration for Zane," resident Cathy Munson says.

Zane is the little boy we introduced you to in March. He is autistic, and his mother Jennifer told us during that interview that Electromagnetic Fields (EMF's) coming from the substation could make things worse.

"I don't want to increase the amount that's around us," Van Hyfte says.

From EMF to property values, to quality of life, residents came armed with arguments why the project to be put somewhere else.

"I have had buyers back out... after they learned that there is a substation about half the size of this substation," says Doris Ackerman a resident and local realtor

The energy company countered the property value argument.

"At the time of construction there could be a perceived problem, but in reality there is a minimal impact - if any - in the end," one representative said.

They also maintained that the EMF dissipates the further it gets from the station.

With 100 feet separating Van Hyfte's house from the proposed site, she as a result of today's decision she's moving out. Other residents echoed that sentiment Monday afternoon.

Alliant says they're still working to find some sort of middle ground.

"We're doing our best to strike that balance between finding that safe reliable service and working with our neighbors as best we can," says Alliant spokesman Justin Foss.

Van Hyfte says talking likely won't change anything.

"The decision was made before we went in there."

Alliant says they hope to break ground on the substation this year.
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