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New power line could affect 20 to 30 landowners in Milton

22 October 2009 1,724 views No Comment

MILTON — Between 20 and 30 landowners could be affected by a proposal for a new power line to run through the city of Milton and Milton Township.

American Transmission Co. hopes to build the line next year to increase service and reliability to the Milton area, ATC officials said.

The company hasn’t picked a route yet, so it doesn’t know which landowners will be affected. It’s holding an open house from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday at The Gathering Place, 715 Campus St., to talk about the potential routes.

The proposed 69,000-volt line will connect the new substation near County M and Milton-Harmony Townline Road to the existing transmission line along County Y between Janesville and Milton, according to information sent to landowners and posted on ATC’s Web site. It could stretch between 3 and 6 miles long, depending on the route chosen.

ATC has identified potential routes that run around or through the city of Milton, along with secondary options that mostly run through Milton Township. The project also could affect Harmony Township and the northern edge of Janesville.

The company hasn’t divided the possible locations into specific routes but rather sections of routes that could be part of the final line.

“There’s still many options out there, so basically we’ve identified segments that could be on the route,” said Luella Dooley, ATC spokeswoman.

Typically, 69,000-volt lines require 80-foot easements—40 feet on either side of the line—though this line could have a narrower easement depending on the route chosen, said Jon Callaway, local relations representative.

ATC hopes to choose a route by the end of the year, Callaway said. Then it must apply for permits, conduct an environmental review and prepare a design summary. It also must negotiate with landowners to buy easement rights.

Most landowner negotiations are successful, Callaway said. If the company can’t agree with a landowner, it can attempt to acquire the land through eminent domain.

Wisconsin eminent domain law allows governments and some organizations to acquire land without the landowner’s consent for public use in certain circumstances. The landowners receive fair market value for the land.

“ATC is committed to acting in good faith and treating landowners fairly,” Callaway wrote in an e-mail to the Gazette.

None of the potential routes involve tearing down homes, Dooley said.

ATC hopes to apply for permits in winter and start construction in summer or fall, according to information sent to landowners. The line is expected to start service at the end of 2010.

source from:gazettextra.com

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