Janesville34.8°

Powerline plan draws feedback

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ANN MARIE AMES
February 14, 2008
— Given a choice, residents would prefer that a new transmission line from Beloit Township to Dane County run as far west of Janesville as possible.

The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin on Wednesday held two public hearings at the Janesville Town Hall, 1628 North Little Court, Janesville.


The commission sought public input on the American Transmission Co. proposal for a new 35-mile, 345-kilovolt transmission line from the Paddock Substation in Beloit Township to the Rockdale Substation in Christiana Township, Dane County.


Following PSC rules, ATC is proposing two options to improve connections between the state line and Dane County:


-- The “east” route skirts the western edge of the city of Janesville. Much of that route already has double or single 138- or 69-kilovolt lines.


-- The “west” route is ATC’s preferred route. It runs a mile or two east of Highway 59 through Beloit, Rock, Janesville and Fulton townships. A 345-kilovolt line already runs on the route.


Wayne Schuette, 315 Dorow Ave., Edgerton, lives under the east route. The line turns a corner and runs along the eastern and northern edge of his property.


If the eastern route is picked, it would add a third line around Schuette’s home, he said.


“I don’t need a power line on three sides of me,” Schuette said in favor of the west route.


In some places, the new line will be strung on old poles with the existing line, said ATC spokeswoman Mary Carpenter. In other places, ATC will install new poles, she said.


The poles are the problem for Camp Indian Trails, 5801 N. River Road, Janesville. A pole in the camp’s parking lot holds the transmission line that crosses the camp, said Steve Orlovsky, program director for the Glacier’s Edge Council of the Boy Scouts of America. The pole gets in the way of parking lot maintenance and cleaning, Orlovsky said.


The council is willing to move easements or rebuild a lodge if ATC is willing to consider a different location for the poles, Orlovsky said.


Rock County Board Chairman Richard Ott read a resolution in support of the west route. The line would support growth in Rock County, and the west route would be cheaper, affect fewer homeowners and impact the environment less than the east route, Ott said.


The county expects a one-time, $1.8 million payment to offset the impact of the lines. The money would be used to buy land and improve parks.


The PSC will review all verbal and written public comment as well as environmental and agricultural impact studies.


ATC anticipates the PSC to make a decision and construction to start this year. The company expects the line to be in service in 2010.



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