Power line decision appealed

Farm Forum

A Lily man is appealing a decision by the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission that would allow construction of a high-voltage power line from Ellendale, N.D., to Big Stone City.

Gerald Pesall is appealing the decision, according to legal paperwork. His attorney is Bob Pesall of Flandreau. At a previous public hearing concerning the power line, Bob Pesall voiced opposition to the project and said that an appeal would be filed. In a recent phone conversation, Bob Pesall declined to comment on the appeal.

At issue is a planned 160-mile, high-voltage transmission line that would cut across Brown, Day and Roberts counties to connect the Ellendale substation to the Big Stone City substation.

The PUC approved a permit in August that gives Montana Dakota Utilities Inc. permission to move forward with the job. Since then, the company has been obtaining permission from landowners who have property that will be affected by the project. In early September, MDU’s senior public relations representative reported that 65 percent of landowners had signed options allowing the project to cross their property.

Construction of the project is slated to begin in 2016 at an estimated cost of $293 million to $370 million.

According to court documents, the appeal was filed in Day County on Sept. 15. State Judge Jon Flemmer had been assigned to the case, but was asked to recuse himself because the proposed power line crosses property owned by his mother. Flemmer agreed to the request.

No court date has been set. A new judge has not been assigned.

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