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Lane-Scott Helps Move Historic House

It takes about an hour to drive from Ness City to Hays, two towns in northwestern Kansas. But if you’re towing a 63-ton house, stopping again and again while police clear traffic and electric utilities move lines out of the way, you’re looking at a day and a half on the road.At least that’s what Unruh House Movers and Larissa and Kris Munsch, the owners of the house, experienced this March.

The Munsches’ 1908 Craftsman-style bungalow passed through the service territories of three electric co-ops on its 70-mile journey on mostly secondary roads: Lane-Scott Electric Cooperative in Dighton, Western Cooperative Electric Association in WaKeeney, and Midwest Energy in Hays.

Nate Burns is Lane-Scott Electric’s manager of operations. He says 66 of the co-op’s meters along 23 miles of distribution line were out for various lengths time as the moving truck made its way east and then north across Ness County.

Two or three times a year, his linemen are called upon to provide safe passage for “houses, grain bins, barns, you name it,” he says. “What made this one different was its height. At 29 feet loaded, it far exceeded our clearance requirements. Almost every line it crossed had to be de-energized and dropped. We ran crews in front and behind it to minimize outage times for our members.”

Approaching Hays, the moving truck was more than an hour ahead of schedule and had to stop and wait because Midwest Energy had notified consumers in the area the outage would take place later in the day.

Self-described “old house whisperers,” the Munsches had been trying to move the historic building for more than a year but were stymied by bad weather.

Kris Munsch says the house was built by J.C. Hopper, a wealthy businessman in the cattle, land, and banking businesses. Its new setting is a 5-acre lot on the west side of Hays surrounded by a fence with limestone posts.

Article Compliments of NRECA, Published in the May 2019 RE Magazine & Photo from Lane-Scott Electric Cooperative

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