Emmetsburg, IA (KICD)–Over 100 attended this (Wednesday) morning’s meeting put on by the Iowa Utilities Board and Rock Island Clean Line in Emmetsburg.
The Rock Island Clean Line is a 500-mile direct current transmission line that will deliver 3,500 megawatts of wind energy that starts in O’Brien County and ends near Morris, Illinois. Most of the affected property owners on hand shared a common feeling against the project including Janna Swanson who along with husband Paul, run a farm between Ayrshire and Gillett Grove.
Clean Line is looking for a 145-200 foot easement on the land of affected property owners and would provide easement and structure payments. State law requires Clean Line to pay 90 percent of fair market value. Property owners would be given a $6,000 one time payment or $500 annually for a monopole or lattice mattice single foundation type structure of a $10,000 one time payment or $1,500 annually for a lattice type structure.
Landowner Kathy Merrill tells KICD News that she is all for entrepreneurship until it hurts the current businesses, or farms, in Iowa.
Iowa law states that this and other alike meetings held in O’Brien and Clay County over the past few days must be held before any negotiations between Clean Line and property owners.
Iowa Wind Energy Association Executive Director Harold Prior says he is excited because the wind energy industry in Iowa is at a standstill with all of their transmission assets currently in use.
Clean Line Director of Development Hans Detweiler expected landowners to show concern over the construction.
One way or another there are still plenty of questions that need to be answered to satisfy the landowners.
The Rock Island Clean Line’s preferred route would start in Northwest O’Brien County, go just south of Gillett grove in Clay County, continue westward north of Curlew and West Bend, and end north of Belmond in the KICD listening area.