- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 21, 2014

ABERDEEN, S.D. (AP) - Some farmers are questioning a proposed 170-mile electrical transmission line from southeastern North Dakota to northeastern South Dakota.

People who spoke at a state Public Utilities Commission hearing in Aberdeen Tuesday night raised concerns about easement payments, land devaluation and power lines interfering with GPS equipment on farm machinery, the American News reported (https://bit.ly/1lEhJVn ).

“It’s my understanding that there really is no benefit from this project for the agricultural community in South Dakota,” said Webster resident Paul Dulitz.

The proposed line is a joint venture of Montana-Dakota Utilities and Otter Tail Power. It would stretch from a Big Stone power plant substation near Big Stone City, South Dakota, to a substation near Ellendale, North Dakota, and would cost up to $370 million. The utilities hope to begin construction in 2016 and complete it in 2019.

The utilities say the project would boost reliable power and generate millions of dollars in taxes.

The line needs regulatory approval in both states, though all but a few miles would be in South Dakota.

Flandreau attorney Bob Pesall, who is representing Lily-area farmer Gerald Pesall, said they will oppose the project.

“It’s ugly, we think it will hurt the local economy and we think it will interfere with farming and local economic development,” he said.


Information from: Aberdeen American News, https://www.aberdeennews.com

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