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PRIA still fighting

By Staff | Jul 16, 2014

To the editor,

It was quite refreshing to read David Kruse’s July11 column, “RICL’s intransigence,” in Farm News.

A year has passed since Kruse, I and 1,245 other landowners received a certified letter from Rock Island Clean Line informing us our farms would be affected by a proposed 3,500 megawatt direct current transmission line which, in many cases, would pass directly through the center of a quarter section of land.

Almost immediately we learned that eminent domain could be used by RICL, a private company from Texas, if granted a franchise by the three-person Iowa Utility Board.

The fear of being forced to sell prompted the initial meeting at Ayrshire, on July 25, 2013.

The overflow crowd of 200-plus convinced us the need for organized opposition. That same night we formed our organization which is now the Preservation of Rural Iowa Alliance dedicated to fighting RICL’s proposed route located entirely on private land.

We were greatly encouraged by the support of many state legislators who introduced legislation to prevent this. Unfortunately, partisan politics reared it’s ugly head when a lone Democrat accused Republicans of being anti-wind simply because all sponsors were Republicans.

Those of us on the PRIA board are frequently asked “How’s it going?” We are cautiously optimistic because RICL has only achieved a 10 percent voluntary sign-up after almost a year and it has not yet filed with the IUB for a franchise designation.

However, we will keep asking any concerned citizen to file an objection with the IUB and urge landowners to not sign a voluntary sales agreement even if you are inclined to sell because, as David Kruse pointed out in his article, RICL has low-balled the initial offer and is not truly interested in further negotiation.

David, you stated you were “not a member, deciding to step back to observe what the sentiment of the local neighborhood was.”

I think the fact no one in Clay County has signed a voluntary easement is a strong statement.

We would welcome you and other family members into our organization, and, in fact, would ask all who support our cause to join PRIA.

All the necessary information can be found at iowastopricl.com.

Jerry Crew


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