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Public meeting set in regard to high voltage power lines

Posted: Tuesday, Sep 10th, 2013

MENDOTA – The Illinois Commerce Commission will hold a public forum at Mendota High School next week to collect comments about Rock Island Clean Line’s proposed high-voltage transmission line. If constructed, the line will cut through some of the state’s most productive farmland including LaSalle County. The forum will take place at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 18 at the MHS auditorium. Members of the public are invited to attend. Anyone wishing to express their opinion will have their comments entered into the official transcript.

Rock Island Clean Line (RICL) applied for public utility status in Illinois last October and the ICC is now considering their application. The public forum in Mendota is part of the process. In December, hearings will be held in Springfield. The ICC’s final decision is not expected until next April at the earliest. If RICL is granted public utility status, then the process for eminent domain would follow.

Many questions have been raised since RICL representatives first visited Mendota two years ago with their plan. At that time, the high-voltage line was presented to the public as a means to carry wind-powered energy from Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota through Illinois and on to eastern states. RICL said the project would “create thousands of jobs for local residents, generate millions of dollars in state and local tax revenues and address the nation’s ongoing efforts to increase energy security.”

The Mendota forum will begin at 7 p.m., however anyone wishing to speak is advised to arrive early to sign in. Following opening remarks from the ICC, an RICL representative will give an overview of the project. Citizens will then be called to speak in the order in which they signed in (there may be a time limit). Anyone who prefers not to speak may hand a typed statement to the ICC representative and it will be entered into the transcript. Those who cannot attend on Sept. 18 may give their written statement to another attendee to hand in.

If any time is left, a question and answer session between attendees and the ICC representative or the RICL representative will be allowed.

More information about RICL as well as links to their ICC filing are available at rockislandcleanline.com. They may also be contacted by calling their toll-free hotline at (877) 907-8516.

Additional information about BlockRICL is available at www.blockricl.com. Testimony highlights are available on www.blockricl.com/testimony. They may be contacted by e-mail at SaveOurFarmland@hotmail.com or phone (815) 315-8506.

For the complete article see the 09-11-2013 issue.

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