Hello, my name is Bruce Johnson and I live along County Road U in Homestead, Wis.
I am writing in regards to American Transmission Company's plans to expand their 345KV high tension electric lines through a part of Homestead.
My wife and I went to the informational open house Wednesday evening.
We skipped the free cookies and coffee and went right for the engineers.
We did not want a sales pitch or a "how good it would be for us" speech.
We just wanted facts.
Fact No. 1 is they have an existing high voltage right of way already in use that can be upgraded.
Fact No. 2 is they can start from scratch and put a lot of people out of house and home. The right of ways needed for starting the "from scratch" version are up to 3,000 feet wide.
In our case this would consume our home and all of our 17 acres. The actual lines would be approximately 125 feet from the road.
That would go over my home and everyone else's homes on the east side of County U.
They said you get to keep your land but are forced to sell them the right of way.
You also lose your home by (eminent domain) because they can not put the lines over a house so the house has to go.
I came to Homestead to live because it is part my heritage.
The Johnsons have lived and died in this area since 1911.
It is quiet and the people are friendly, just what you would be looking for in a place to live. This whole thing has come as a shock to a lot of people out here in Homestead and in the rest of the areas being considered starting from Green Bay to Escanaba because not much has been said about it.
I also read something disturbing in the legal part of this paper that our neighbors in Fence passed a resolution in favor of the so called WPS infrastructure "upgrade."
If I am wrong about this I am sorry but part of this 3,000 right of ways will end just north of Goodman Park and just south of Fence.
Just a coincidence?
I ask that Florence County and Homestead Township step up to the plate and pass resolutions against the new power lines and that letters be sent to ATC telling them to use their existing right of way.
Maybe the folks in Fence don't have all the facts. Anyone can get them by going to www.BayLakeProject.com or you can call them toll free at 866-899-6113 and let them no you don't want this.
I would not want anyone to lose their home because of power when a logical and proper way to go is upgrade within what they already have.
I hope everyone will look at what the rest of us will lose if this is allowed to continue. We were told in the end two routes will be picked and then there will be discussions by the state where public input can be made.
Fact No. 3 once the route is approved by the state, it is a done deal. Agents for American Transmission Company will go door to door paying the going rate for your right of way property and if your home is in the way it will be taken by eminent domain and your home will be taken.
We need everyone's support on this.