The Missouri Public Service Commission has scheduled four additional meetings to hear public comment on the proposed Grain Belt Express Transmission line that, if approved, will cover an approximate 206-mile-route across Missouri. Click to hear KMZU’s Kristie Cross speak with landowner Donald Davies:
The Carroll County property owner said he has testified at previous hearings and plans to continue to express his disapproval of the project. “We won’t ever be able to capitalize on the appreciation of that land in the future,” said Davies, “We normally put up 1,000 to 1,500 tons of corn silage. In their books, GBE states you can do any crops you want to and they will allow you 10 feet in height. Well, good corn will easily get over 10 feet in height and if you buy a silage variety of corn if will approach 15 feet.”
“The machinery problem with it is that the spouts on the silage cutter have a good deal of height,” said Davies, “Clean Line is stating they don’t want you to have equipment over 17′ in clearance, but, if you put a 25′ spout on a silage cutter, you’ll be getting really close to those lines. The height would also keep us from using aerial application of farm inputs because of these lines and towers and that would include seeding, fertilizing, pest control, and crop scouting.”
When asked his thoughts on the outlined easement compensation plan, Davies said he didn’t believe it was fair to landowners. “There is no consideration for added farm expense,” said Davies, “I think of it as a watermelon effect. When you cut the heart out of a watermelon, you don’t have much left. The same applies here. You’re basically creating two different farms out of one. If they paid 200% for crop damage, they might actually take more care of what all they damaged.”
Davies hopes all landowners will allow their voices to be heard during the upcoming hearings. “Some say I don’t care, it doesn’t affect me,” said Davies, “Some say I don’t care, I just want all the money I can get. Why doesn’t everyone care for their neighbors and what future generations will have to endure? This is forever. We need to stop this where private individuals want to be classified as public utilities thereby gaining the right to use eminent domain.”
According to the Grain Belt Express Clean Line website, the line represents an approximate $500 million infrastructure investment in the state.
The meetings are scheduled as follows:
*September 3, 2014
Cameron Community Center
219 Ashland Ave.
Cameron, MO 64429
*September 3, 2014
Moila Shriner’s Ballroom
701 North Noyes Blvd.
Saint Joseph, MO 64506
*September 4, 2013
Hamilton Community Arts Theatre
E. Penny Drive
Hamilton, MO 64644
*September 4, 2014
Rupe Community Center
710 Harvest Hills Dr.
Carrollton, MO 64633