A proposed power line extending from La Crosse County all the way to Dane County is back in the spotlight as a set of public hearings gets closer.
It's known as the Badger Coulee line. Two routes have been proposed, but now the State Public Service Commission is looking for public input and it looks like they are going to get more than expected.
The Badger Coulee Power Line would be more than 150 miles long and span over several counties in Wisconsin. In fact, a realty owner in the Town of Holland said it's going to go right through her subdivision. She is not only worried about her business, but for the quality of life for she and her neighbors as well.
On this subdivision in the Town of Holland sits 82 lots, some developed and some just waiting for the right buyer.
"It's really well planned out, it's not just your straight straights in and out, it's got some character to it,” said Peggy Lovejoy, the owner of Prudential Lovejoy Realty, Inc.
With a great view and plenty of options, the community grows every year.
"We typically sell anywhere from eight to 12 lots in the subdivisions in the spring so people can get ready for their summer builds,” said Lovejoy.
For some reason, it seems like her luck may have run out.
"When you go from selling eight to 12 to none, there is only one reason for this and that is because people are unsure as to if the power lines are going in,” said Lovejoy.
Last year, the American Transmission Company and Northern States Power Company proposed a power line that would span from La Crosse County to Dane County
"The 345 KV Line is kind of the interstate highway of power and it moves large amounts of power very efficiently,” said Kaya Frieman, the spokesperson for American Transmission Company.
Frieman said the power line has a variety of benefits on a local, state and regional level.
"They are electrical liability, access to lower cost power and access to high quality renewable energy,” said Frieman.
However, Lovejoy isn't seeing those benefits; all she's seeing is the potential for the power lines to go right through the subdivision.
"It could have a 20-30 percent depreciation of the value of these properties, that is huge,” said Lovejoy.
The proposed power line will be up for discussion next month, but until then Lovejoy doesn't expect her luck to improve.
"So here we sit and we wait until it's determined where it's going to be,” said Lovejoy.
Lovejoy has hired attorneys to represent the development and owners that live in the area to prevent the power line from becoming a reality. However, if the Badger Coulee power line does get approved, construction will begin in 2016.
The state Public Service Commission will be hosting a series of public hearings. They will be held from 3:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the following times and locations:
Waunakee Village Community Center
333 S. Madison Street