Family Says It Can’t Bear Power Line So Close to Son’s Grave

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LATHROP, Mo. -- A boy's real family and church family hopes Kansas City Power and Light will consider their pain and change its plans to build a new transmission line 200 feet away from where the boy is buried.

The utility company is looking to connect a transmission line between Sibley, Missouri and Nebraska City, Nebraska and the path could run through Lathrop, Missouri. One of the proposed routes would lie 200 feet from a church built to honor 9-year old Mackintyre Garton, who died of a brain aneursm in 2008.

Mackintyre's Church was the focus of an Emmy nominated story FOX 4 did in 2009. The boy had begged his family for years to build a church on his grandfather's property, but it didn't became reality until his sudden death.

"Our son picked that spot out himself where it was suppose to be. He dreamed and planned this church 3 years before he died," said his mother Stacey Garton, adding, "This is not something that we can bare to see disturbed."

Mackintyre's remains are buried next to the church under a 35-foot cross. His mother says if KCP&L builds a transmission line 200 feet away it'll destroy the church's tranquility.

"The shade to the church and the cemetery in the evening will not be there. The serenity of the whole environment will not be there if those woods and tree line are taken out over there."

KCP&L sent the Garton family a letter that reads in part:

"While we can't imagine your situation and the loss of your son, we respect the memorial you have built in his memory. None of the potential routes will harm Mackintyre's Church or gravesite, and the closest potential route is more than 200 feet away from the church."

The company adds it's holding public hearings across northwest Missouri to gather input about possible routes and says a final decision is months away.

But Mackintyre's mom says now is the time to fight because she says the possible route near her son's gravesite is still too close.

"Our son is gone. He died at 9 years old, losing this fight is like not being able to save him again....having his church destroyed by something like this is like not being able to save him again and it's unbearable to us."

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