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Vt. power company can build communications tower

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MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - A couple who own property in the southwestern Vermont town of Wells have lost their battle to keep a utility from building a new communications tower there.

Artists Felix Kniazev and Olga Julinska had been fighting a plan by the Vermont Electric Power Company - or VELCO - to build a tower to support a new statewide communications system the utility is building.

The couple argue that the project will significantly reduce the value of their property for which they paid nearly $400,000. The Public Service Board on Wednesday ruled that VELCO can build the tower and awarded the couple $25,750.

Kniazev and Julinska also have been active in the fight against a plan by Vermont's major utilities to install wireless smart meters on homes and businesses.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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