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Walker to continue to protect landowner rights during new session

Local State Representative Nate Walker (R), of Kirksville, says the chief opposition group has also withdrew from the case. (KTVO/File)

A once-highly debated power line project is coming to the area.

On Wednesday, the Missouri Public Service Commission (PSC) voted to approve the construction of the Mark Twain Transmission Project.

Ameren Transmission Company of Illinois (ATXI), the company working to build the line, has been seeking approval since 2015.

After a series of court cases and hearings due to opposition from landowners and other individuals, ATXI worked to revamp its original plan in May.

That's thanks to a partnership with Northeast Missouri Electric Power Cooperative.

The line will now utilize a majority of rights-of-way from existing transmission lines, instead of building new.

Last week, parties still involved with the case asked the PSC to approve a Certificate of Convenience and Necessity.

With approvals from each affected county in hand, the PSC approved the request on Wednesday.

Local State Representative Nate Walker (R), of Kirksville, says the chief opposition group has also withdrew from the case.

He adds that he was proud of what that group stood for.

"Neighbors United have backed off their opposition. I've always wanted to be sure that we did the best and right thing to do. I still have legislation introduced in the general assembly this session dealing with land owners rights and eminent domain and to protect our farmers rights and landowners rights. But, I think by and large, this has been an opportunity for everybody to have input."

Ameren officials say construction is slated to begin in April.

The utility hopes to have the line in-service by December 2019.

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