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New 8.5-mile power transmission line coming to Mower County

After nearly three months of back-and-forth, the Mower County Board of Commissioners approved a conditional use permit Tuesday morning for a new transmission power line.

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AUSTIN — After nearly three months of back-and-forth, the Mower County Board of Commissioners approved a conditional use permit Tuesday morning for a new transmission power line.

The CUP had been held up over the possibility of future road construction along the power line's path, said Trish Harren, Mower County's administrator. 

Scott Anderson, an attorney for the county contracted to negotiate with Dairyland Power over the conditions for approving the 8.5-mile, 69-kilovolt line, said the county's concern stemmed from the path of the power line.

The line would start on 210th Street, about three miles south of Grand Meadow, and proceed south along Mower County Road 8 until it reached near Minnesota Highway 56.

Anderson said the road along the right-of-way being used for the transmission line does not meet state standards for "inslope," the slope of the road and shoulder heading toward the ditch.

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"They think it would need another 10 feet of clear space to prevent rollovers," he said.

Because of the need to meet inslope standards if the road is ever repaved means someone — either the county or Dairyland — would need to pay to move the poles during road construction.

Anderson said the county and Dairyland, working with road engineers, had reached a compromise to ensure the poles would leave at least 4 feet of space, and if a pole needed to be moved after that, Dairyland would absorb the cost.

The board unanimously agreed to the new condition and approved the CUP.

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