In an exciting win for local control, the Missouri Supreme Court has declined to hear the appeal of the Missouri Public Service Commission and ATXI, letting stand the Western District Court’s Decision.
What does this mean?
The appeal to the Western District was over the PSC’s decision to issue a conditional Certificate of Convenience and Necessity (CCN) to ATXI for the Mark Twain Transmission Project. Neighbors United maintained that, according to Missouri law, County Commissioner assent is required before issuance of the CCN. The Western District agreed that the PSC acted in error and that a precondition of something can not be made a condition of it. The approval of local County Commissioners, therefore, must be obtained prior to the approval of a project and issuance of a CCN, and not after.
This is a HUGE win for local control.
Of course, this was always the way that the law was intended to work. Local governing authorities should have a say in what happens in their communities and have the responsibility to act in the best interests and according to the wishes of those they are elected to represent. Projects going through the state now know that they must work with local authorities to plan routes through counties instead of bullying their way through. Common sense dictates that working closely with individuals in the communities affected by these projects is a good idea – and we’re happy to see the law upheld in the state of Missouri.
For more information, visit the NEWS section of our website!
The Times Republican
“We passed House File 603, a bill to protect private property rights. For several years House Republicans, led by Rep. Bobby Kaufmann, have been attempting to pass legislation that protects the rights of farmers and other landowners. In past years these efforts were blocked in the Democrat controlled Senate. This bill was in part a response to the attempt to build a Direct Current electrical transmission line known as the Rock Island Clean Line which would have passed through the northern portion of my district in Black Hawk County. This project was solely a private enterprise, would not have been accessible to Iowans, and was not part of the regional transmission line plan. The company sought to take farmers land for its towers using eminent domain as a private company, not as a true public utility. The project has been struck down after years of intense work by the landowners. This bill takes steps to prevent such a project from threatening landowners in the future with similar projects. The bill also makes restrictions on the use of eminent domain in taking land for a lake, ensuring that the land taken is truly needed for legitimate drinking water sources instead of recreational uses. One final aspect of the bill will ensure that farmers and business owners are fairly compensated in the event that their land is condemned using eminent domain.”
Halls Hall is in the old Ben Franklin Store. It is one half block south of the court house on west side of Maine street. If coming down Hwy 61, Turn at Hardees and go to Maine street. Would be the first stop sign. Court house is at that intersection, turn left and go 1 and one half blocks. Look for our tables set up on side walk on the west side. If coming down on 168 to Palmyra go to first stop sign,(Maine Street) and turn left and go about 5 blocks. See you there!! AND THANKS!
We testified in support of Bart Korman‘s HB 991 in Jefferson City yesterday. This bill will increase compensation for land taken by eminent domain on farms which have been in families for 100+ years and will allow landowners to argue future land use during compensation negotiations.
We like the bill for the following reasons:
- The land is a farming family’s trust fund and the longer families have been investing in their farms, the more they deserve when their land is condemned.
- Much like how investors move their money around the stock market, farmers can change the way that they use their land. Maybe a family has cows when land is condemned but later on it would be more profitable to have row crops. Aerial application and some types of irrigation are usually impossible after a transmission line is built through a field. Perhaps later the family wants to cash out their land and sell residential lots. Agricultural land is appraised differently than residential land.
- The language in the bill gives landowners more power when negotiating with professionals whose job it is to take land for as little as possible.
This bill is simple and fair.
Hopefully the bill gets a vote soon and can move on!
ps the day was beautiful
The Taco party in Schuyler County was a HUGE success!
Thank you to the ~74 people who attended!
for more pictures click here
We recently learned that in some other states, upgrading existing infrastructure is a requirement before building additional redundant power lines. From an agricultural, environmental, and common sense standpoint – this seems to make sense. Nevertheless………
Take a look at a map outlining the Mark Twain Transmission Project with an existing area 161KV line superimposed:
Interesting…. they seem to be coming from an going to almost the exact same location… At the hearing on April 5th, 2017 on HB640 & HB79, legislators were bewildered that viable farmland in the state is currently at risk despite this clear fact.
We are, too.
The hearing at the utilities committee was a great success!
About 30 people showed up Wednesday night in support of HB 640, HB 795. People from Neighbors United and Block the Grain Belt came out in support. This was such a great opportunity for everyone to come together and support property rights in Missouri. We are so grateful to everyone who came.
For Immediate Release
Hearings for Rep. Nate Walker’s HB 640 & HB 795 were held at 5pm Wednesday, February 5th in the House Utilities Committee approximately 30 Missouri residents came out in support of the bills.
Both bills demand responsible routing of utilities along property, boundary, and section lines. HB 795 requires utilities to upgrade their existing infrastructure and condemners to obtain 60% of easements voluntarily. HB 640 limits the amount of PSI exerted on the land during construction to avoid soil compaction. Quite simply, HB 640 & HB 795 demand that utility companies respect property rights, the land and farmers (one of Missouri’s largest industries). The thirteen members of the House Utilities Committee heard arguments for and against these bills this evening and could vote anytime after next week.