Public meeting March 15 for proposed high-voltage power line project

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By Shelia Tomkins

A public comment meeting on a proposed power line development, originally scheduled in Guttenberg for January, has been rescheduled for March. The January meeting was postponed due to the federal government shutdown.

The Guttenberg meeting, one of six scheduled in Iowa and Wisconsin, will be held on Friday, March 15, from 5-7 p.m. at the Guttenberg Municipal Building, 502 S. First Street.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Utilities Service (RUS) will host the meeting. The purpose is to allow for public comment on the proposed  route of a high-voltage electric transmission line that would run between the Cardinal Substation west of Madison and the Hickory Creek Substation near Holy Cross.

Other public comment meetings were set for Dodgeville, Barneveld, Cassville, and Middleton, all in Wisconsin,  and in Peosta.

The meetings will take public comments on an RUS draft of the project's environmental impact during construction and operation. The meetings are part of the review process required by the Wisconsin Public Service Commission. The information collected during the series of public meetings will be used to prepare the final environmental impact statement.

The 125-mile long Cardinal-Hickory project is estimated to cost approximately $500 million. Purpose of the project is to transmit low-cost wind energy from Iowa to to Wisconsin. 

The proposed route would cross the Mississippi River at the Turkey River Substation near Millville.

Proponents say  that the project is a necessary investment in renewable energy resources, and that most of the nation's transmission lines are more than 50 years old and need upgrading.

Opponents say the project is not warranted based on demand and have expressed concerns about the impact of the development on the environment.  

The project owners are American Transmission Company, ITC Midwest and Dairyland Power Cooperative. 

For details on how to provide a comment on the project, see the legal notice published in this week's issue.

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