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PUC won't reconsider power line ruling

Opponents of a high voltage power line were denied a rehearing into the matter last week and some say their fight to prevent the 115 kV line from being placed along a stretch of Hubbard County 18 is likely over.

On Jan. 6, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission met to consider a petition filed by Sandra Stugelmeyer, whose parents reside on the affected stretch of roadway.

Stugelmeyer was seeking reconsideration of the PUC's Nov. 17, 2010 decision granting the power line route from a new substation to be built on U.S. Highway 71 north of Park Rapids, through the Potato and Eagle lakes areas, eventually hooking up to the Mantrap Substation on Hubbard County 4.

"The Commission finds that this petition does not raise new issues, does not point to new and relevant evidence, does not expose errors or ambiguities... and does not otherwise persuade the Commission that it should rethink its original decision," the Order Denying Reconsideration stated.

Opponents of the power line had originally retained the services of a St. Cloud law firm to explore their legal options.

But last month Eunice Rothermel said the legal skirmish likely ended with the November order.

Surveyors for Great River Energy have been out assessing each property for eventual compensation for the line's placement. Construction will begin this spring.

Sarah Smith

Sarah Smith is the outdoors editor. She covers courts, business and breaking news in addition to outdoors events.

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