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Published January 30, 2012, 10:13 PM

New power transition line has some voicing concern

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - People in the path of a proposed power transmission line in our area got a chance to complain to the people in charge of it today. The line will run about 210 miles through Fargo and St. Cloud, and will meet the need for electricity growth and also tap into vast wind energy resources by 2020.

People in the path of a proposed power transmission line in our area got a chance to complain to the people in charge of it today. The line will run about 210 miles through Fargo and St. Cloud, and will meet the need for electricity growth and also tap into vast wind energy resources by 2020.

Home owners, business owners, and project officials made their case today. Most people are upset about the placement and believe it will affect their property value and might keep people from moving to and visiting the area.

Michael Bice is a home owner and owns the Knickerbocher in Hickson North Dakota. He says the proposed line will be as close as 3 quarters of a mile from his business and less than a half mile from his home.

Michael Bice – Impacted By Transmission Line: “Well the negative is, is it is a great big power line, and it seems to be kind of pushed under the works of what is going on with it.”

Bice has heard a number of concerns from people in his community. He says it's not only this proposed project, but the proposed diversion project that will affect his area.

Michael Bice: “It seems like Fargo is assuming that we are already gone from the proposed damn diversion, but that is not the case at all, what happens if this moves north, or doesn't happen at all? You know then we are stuck with this big power built power line.”

All in all Bice just wants more concrete details about the transmission construction plans and placement.

Michael Bice: “Most people are just unaware of what's actually going on, because the local officials have done a good job of not exactly telling everybody what is exactly going on with the diversion so this seems to be another step in that direction.”

Public Service Commissioner Kevin Cramer says they chose Fargo to hold this meeting so it could accommodate the maximum opportunity for citizen involvement.

Kevin Cramer – Public Service Commissioner: “We can read all of the engineering and environmental reports in the world, we can hear from all types of attorney's and experts, but nobody knows their land like the person who lives on it and farms on it.”

Cramer is very pleased with the turnout and plans to take everyone's testimony into consideration in future planning stages.

Kevin Cramer: “We will take all of this information, all of the evidence presented by the company, and certainly all of the evidence presented by land owners and concerned citizens and we will weigh it all against each other to see if there is some way to do this in a way that well it doesn't satisfy everyone, at least minimize the negative impacts.”

Although there is no set timeline of when a permanent plan will be put in place, the Fargo-St. Cloud project, including a North Dakota segment is scheduled to be energized in 2015.

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