|5/19/2017 11:10:00 AM|
County board passes motion to oppose transmission line
|"These are some of the 400 people who are upset about this [transmission line]," Boyd Gibbons, a member of the Driftless Defenders told the Iowa County Board Tuesday night at its regularly scheduled meeting.|
"We all say 'no' and by God, we really mean it."
Close to 100 people packed into the Iowa County Board Room, with dozens filtering out into the hallway without a seat for the meeting's proceedings. The big item on the agenda: a presentation from representatives of the Driftless Defenders and the Driftless Area Land Conservancy, with a proposed resolution to oppose the proposed Cardinal Hickory Creek transmission line project.
The board first heard comments from several members of the public, all of which voiced concerns about the proposed transmission line.
Paul Gaynor, who owns White Oak Savanna north of Dodgeville, spoke to economic impact the power lines could have on his business, which has not even celebrated its grand opening yet. Not one permanent job for township or county residents will be created through the transmission line project, he said.
Andy Hatch, owner of Uplands Cheese, also shared concerns as they pertain to a small business in the county. The character of his business depends on the rural landscape in which it is set, he said, adding that not only does he believe businesses would suffer, but the "county as a whole will also suffer" if the project went through.
Don Campbell, a resident of the Eden Township, stated that an appraiser had told him property values could drop 10-30%, depending on the proximity to the proposed power line. He unrolled a poster which showed the enormous size of the power line pole - a photograph with a woman standing at the base of it, the pole towering over her.
"This is what we're up against," he said.
The crowd waited in anticipation as the board moved through the agenda items one by one, and when the presentation was finally up, Chairman John Meyers explained that he would be recusing himself from the discussion due to a conflict of interest. He asked that Vice Chair Carol Anderson run this portion of the meeting and that he step out of the room during the discussion of the transmission line - in which she agreed.
Betsy D'Angelo of the Driftless Defenders was the first to speak during the presentation. She stated that she observed a pattern in the conversations she has had with others in relation to the power line project.
Many people do not know about the lines and even if they do, they do not know the scale of the power line project, she said. Secondly, those who have heard of the project assume that the lines must be needed, when however, studies have shown that they are not needed, she continued.
People also assume that the project is one being headed by a public works entity, which is also not true, as the American Transmission Company (ATC) is a for-profit company. Lastly, people have been asking what they can do, she said.
"We who live here and love it here can shape what happens here," D'Angelo said....
See the rest of the story in the May 18 Chronicle issue.
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