Rock Island Clean Line will affect more than farmers

Published: Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013 4:59 a.m. CDT

I am a landowner who has been contacted by Rock Island Clean Line.  The company proposes to build huge transmission lines across my farmland south of Triumph, Ill. They sent an example of a proposal with a one-time cash settlement for placing poles taller than the Statue of Liberty on my land.

Signing their contract would give RICL easements and access across my property for perpetuity. I do not want to sign RICL’s contract.

This land was willed to my late husband, Bob, and I about 50 years ago, and with it came a responsibility. The land was tiled in the 1970s and became the drainage system for neighboring farmland and the town of Triumph. The people of Triumph depend on my tile system working correctly to help avoid flooding. I do not wish to chance disrupting the drainage.

My husband was very aware of this responsibility to the town and other area farmers and made sure I was aware of it before he passed away in 1986.

I pay for a drainage district through my property taxes and my tiles empty into a drainage ditch that then carries the water past the quarry and into the Tomahawk Creek.  I do not want my property to be crossed by heavy machinery needed to bring in steel and concrete and erect lines or repair them. Tiles can be crushed.

With easements forever, this could happen at any time in the future. This is an issue that could affect my descendents, who will inherit the land, and everyone who lives in Triumph or has farmland that drains through my land. I own the ground and should have the right to say no to this liability.

I am told RICL has applied for public utility status with the Illinois Commerce Commission under Docket 12-0560. I have joined a group of land owners who have hired attorneys to intervene and ask the ICC to look into the situation and not allow RICL to get eminent domain, which would allow them to take my land without my permission.

I am very concerned and want others to know what is happening. Please contact the ICC and opposed the docket #. This can be done through the website www.BlockRICL.com or independently.

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