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What is an easement?

March 11, 2016
Farm News

To the editor,

ITC Midwest would like to construct a 345 kilovolt line through Kossuth County.

ITC has put before land owners a contract that has the largest property rights taking I have ever seen. It says that the landowner must get written permission from ITC before improving, maintaining or repairing our public utilities mainly drainage.

The contract obligates the landowner to follow ITC's rules for passing under ITC's easement, and if ITC does not like what or how you intend to maintain your drainage system, it does not have to give written permission to pass under its utility line.

What does this mean? It means that if you use any type of pipe to dispose of excess water (yes that means your house because every community belongs to a drainage district) it may cost you more to maintain your drainage or could possibly shut it off (backed up pipes is not a pretty picture) if ITC decides not to give written permission to cross their easement area to maintain your drainage.

In this case we are potentially affecting 36,000 acres where 30 percent, or 10,800 acres, require drainage to produce 180 bushel corn. At $3.50 per bushel, it means a $6.4 million potential in lost revenue annually for the potential to collect $144,000 in tax revenue.

This is a great deal for ITC. It is a bad deal for our local economy.

Remember, a select few landowners are collecting ITC revenue for ITC easements, which negatively impacts their neighbors' property rights which in this case is drainage.

The fix for this potential problem is to follow the Iowa drainage law 468.186 where ITC would have to abide by our drainage easement before ITC constructs its line.

This would enable us to improve, maintain and or repair our current systems and have ITC pay for the potential increased costs in passing through ITC's easement area and keep our neighbors' property rights unaffected.

The Kossuth County supervisors to date has elected to do nothing.

You have the right to sign a petition in support of an easement that has been filed at the auditor's office for your financial protection.

If ITC decides not to agree to our easement, then ITC has the right to construct their line somewhere else.

Joe Goche

Titonka

 
 

 

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