New high-power transmission line turning heads on the proposed route

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Posted: Tuesday, May 17, 2016 --- 10:15 p.m.

PLATTEVILLE, Wis. --- Improving the electric reliability for consumers. That's the goal of a proposed high power transmission line from the Madison area to Iowa.

Open houses are starting to get community feedback, but the multi-million dollar project is turning some heads.

Things are still in the preliminary stages and services might not start until 2023, but property owners are already concerned this project will affect them.

"People are really interested in knowing the process, what's going to happen and potentially where the project would be cited if it's approved," Kaya Freiman, American Transmission Company (ATC) corporate communications specialist, says.

The Cardinal-Hickory Creek electric transmission line would run 125 miles from Middleton to Dubuque County, Iowa, affecting thousands of people.

"We just built a new house two years ago and these larger towers would be right in our sight line, which would definitely impact our quality of life," homeowner Ann Kemink says.

Besides the quality of life, Kemink is also worried about the project's future effects.

"Always have those questions about what effect that a larger load of electricity on the ground, on animals, on people," she says.

Another concern is that this could bring her property value down.

But experts say it's still in the preliminary stages, so things could change.

"We will continue to narrow our options until we identify two proposed routes in Wisconsin that we would submit to the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin," Freiman says.

ATC plans to file their applications for the $500 million project with the state in 2018 and 2019 and be in service by 2023.

There will be two more open houses this week in Barneveld.

They will be held Wednesday, May 18 and Thursday, May 19 at the Deer Valley Lodge.