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Neighbors United 'perplexed' by ATXI route restart

The Mark Twain Line has faced heavy opposition since 2014, when the plans to construct a single-circuit line were first announced. (KTVO/File)

Ameren Transmission Company of Illinois (ATXI) announced a new partnership on Monday with Northeast Missouri Electric Power Cooperative.

The two hope that by working together, a controversial power line proposal will soon be a reality.

In order to move the Mark Twain Transmission Project forward, the power companies plan to use rights of way from existing transmission lines.

The Mark Twain Line has faced heavy opposition since 2014, when the plans to construct a single-circuit line were first announced.

However, Shawn Schukar, President of ATXI, told KTVO due to that opposition, he now believes a double-circuit line, like this new proposal, is the best option.

Following the announcement, KTVO reached out to Attorney Art Hernandez, who represents the opposition group, Neighbors United.

His statement is as follows:

"I am not sure what direction Neighbors United is going to take. All this information is new to all of us. We hope that our input is requested and my clients are glad that other route options are being explored. Our concerns are still there, this does not change them. We are also disappointed that a suggestion to follow existing corridors as proposed by Neighbors United was not taken seriously two years ago, when we initially proposed a similar project. We are also perplexed by this proposal because in the hearing before the [Missouri Public Service Commission] PSC last year, this idea was rejected by ATXI as an unreliable option that would not work."

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