DENHAM SPRINGS - A property owner in Livingston Parish says DEMCO is tearing up his land, but DEMCO says it has the right to be there.
In addition to making a mess, David Henderson says DEMCO is also taking land away from him. Henderson contacted 2 On Your Side, which found out an easement decades old allows DEMCO to be there.
If you'd drive by Henderson's property at the southeast corner of I-12 and Juban Road, you would think he's building something. Construction equipment is busy moving around dirt and clearing brush.
"I didn't give them permission to be on my property," said Henderson.
He bought the property in the 1980s as a retirement investment, but now he says it's being torn up.
The crew on his property has been hired by DEMCO to move a power pole and string a new power line.
"They're taking the right of way, without going through the due process," said Henderson.
Recently, Henderson filed a motion to cease and desist, but lost and the crew came back.
An easement, signed in 1938 and again in 1964 to add more acreage, allows the Dixie Electric Membership Corporation, or DEMCO, the right to enter the land. It gives DEMCO permission to "place, construct, operate, repair, maintain, relocate and replace" an electric transmission, distribution line or system and cut and trim trees and shrubbery to clear them of said electric line or system.
DEMCO tells WBRZ the plan is to run the line heading northeast at about a 45 degree angle and cross I-12. Two poles are going to be removed and a single pole is going to be placed north of where the poles currently are. DEMCO says when that line moves north, it's going to be more on the interstate's right of way and further off of Henderson's property.
Henderson says he's concerned that design will eat up more of his land and his property value.
"Say a motel or something wanted to come here, I don't believe there's enough room for one," he said.
While 2 On Your Side did clear up a few things for Henderson, he says he's still not happy with what's unfolding on his property and he'll wait to see if DEMCO follows through with its plan.
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