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Powerline Debate Continues

By: Karen Kostko
By: Karen Kostko

For Marathon County, as the project is currently drawn up, the American Transmission Company would construct a powerline across the Nine Mile Forest, and that has many concerned. Marathon County officials say they need more questions answered by ATC before they can decide on whether to give the powerline the thumbs up.

County Administrator Mort McBain says the purpose of the meeting was to gather information, which will hopefully aid in the county's final decision. McBain says he's not sure what will happen with the new members on the county board.

"The county board will discuss and debate issues this month or may have to put it off until June if questions are not answered," McBain says.

The organization SOUL, Save Our Unique Lands, presented information that its president says backs up reasons why the project is a bad idea. Part of his presentation focused on cost issues and the issue of whether or not ATC has the right to condemn private property. SOUL hopes the county will consider it's strong opposition when it comes to making the final decision.

"By the county taking a strong opposition, hopefully what we end up with is a better alternative at a lower cost," says SOUL president Tom Kreager.

Marathon County predicts a lengthy deliberation over the issue and says it may take a month or two to come to a final decision.