Farmers whose land may be affected by the proposed Cardinal-Hickory Creek power line in southwest Wisconsin should attend one of three November meetings, where they will be able to talk with staff from the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, the organization preparing an agricultural impact statement for the project.

American Transmission Co., ITC Midwest and Dairyland Power Cooperative have applied to the Wisconsin Public Service Commission to build a new substation and an electric transmission line from Middleton in Dane County to Dubuque County, Iowa. Whether or not the project will be built and the route for the 345 kilovolt line will be determined by the Wisconsin PSC. Staff from the Commission and DNR will also be at these meetings for questions and comments.

The first meeting will be held on Thursday, Nov. 8 at Dodger Bowl Lanes, 318 King St., Dodgeville; the second meeting will be held on Monday, Nov. 12 at Madison Marriott West, Salon A, 1313 John Q. Hammons, Drive, Middleton. The final meeting will be held Wednesday, Nov. 14 at the Grant County Fairgrounds, Youth and Agriculture Center Auditorium, 916 E. Elm St., Lancaster. All meetings will be identical and offered at 2 and 6 p.m. each date.

DATCP’s agricultural impact statement will analyze the economic and operations impact the project may have on individual farms, identify the acreage lost or affected and convey landowner concerns. It will recommend ways to reduce the impact on farms and it can be useful in negotiations between landowners and the power companies.

DATCP staff want to hear farmers’ concerns, and representatives will be able to map and review the potential impacts to each landowner.

A DATCP questionnaire has been mailed to agricultural property owners who may have three or more acres acquired as easements for the project. Farmers may submit their questionnaire at these scoping meetings, ask questions and submit additional comments to DATCP. Staff will also be able to answer questions about the possible effects and the process of land or easement acquisition as well.

Wisconsin law requires an agricultural impact statement for public projects where condemnation may be involved and at least five acres of farm land from one owner will be affected, either through purchase or easements.

For more information, contact Marilyn Weiss, 608-224-4650 or marilyn.weiss@wisconsin.gov.