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Farmers interested in finding out more about a proposed power line running across southwestern Wisconsin can get information at four open houses scheduled in May.

American Transmission Co. (ATC), ITC Midwest LLC and Dairyland Power Cooperative (DPC) are proposing the Cardinal-Hickory Creek Transmission Line to connect ATC's Cardinal Substation in the Town of Middleton with ITC's proposed Hickory Creek Substation in Dubuque County, IA.

The line would be about 125 miles long, depending on the specific route chosen, and would carry 345,000 volts. The project would also include a new substation proposed in Montfort, WI.

The public comments received at these open houses will help the companies decide the potential routes that will be submitted as part of their application.

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection will write an agricultural impact statement after an application is submitted to the Public Service Commission.

The statement will examine how each potential route would affect farmland and farm practices, and recommend ways to alleviate any negative effects.

It also includes individual landowners' comments and concerns, based on landowner surveys that DATCP conducts.

Visitors to the open houses will be able to talk one-on-one with representatives from the companies. There will be no formal presentation. The open houses will run 4-7 p.m. at:

· Monday, May 16, Peosta Community Center, 77896 Burds Rd., Peosta, IA.

· Tuesday, May 17, Pioneer Lanes, 1185 Business 151, Platteville, WI.

· Wednesday, May 18, Deer Valley Lodge, 401 Industrial Dr., Barneveld.

· Thursday, May 19, Deer Valley Lodge, 401 Industrial Dr., Barneveld.

The project is in the early stages. It will require approval from the Wisconsin Public Service Commission, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Army Corps of Engineers.

The application to state regulators is expected 2018-2019, and plans are to have the line in service in 2023.

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