To the Editor:
The dollars farmers get from the Rock Island Clean Line (RICL) transmission line won’t pencil out. The Rock Island Clean Line is a proposed 500-mile high voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission line used to transport electrical power from wind energy dense states in the midwest (Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and Minnesota) to the energy markets in the Chicago, Illinois, and cities further east.
Using Black Hawk County for example, the average land value per ISU 2013 is $11,239. This line cuts a quarter section in half. RICL will pay 90% of $11,239 or $10,115 per acre. If using a 200 feet wide by 2640 feet long easement that would equal 12.12 acres. RICL would be paying $122,595. Three poles on the property at $6,000 per pole would add an additional $18,000. The total would be $140,595. The land devaluation in this case, per Kurt C. Kielisch, appraiser from Oshkosh, Wis., would be 10-30%. Using 30% for cutting the farm in half would be $11,239 times 30% x 160 acres equals $539,472. Then subtracting the $122,595 easement payment would result in a loss of only $416,877. Don’t forget the ingress and egress clause on the entire 160 acres, the crop loss from construction compaction, the inability to aerial spray fungicide and insecticide, and the tax liability on monies received .
The Preservation of Rural Iowa Alliance is working hard to stop RICL and protect the rights of landowners. The Alliance is against the use of eminent domain to take private property for economic gain. We encourage people not to sign RICL’s voluntary easements and to file a formal objection with the Iowa Utilities Board. For further information contact PRIA at www.iowastopricl.com or 712-262-5229.