Energy transmission line to mean money for Grundy County
By Sarwat A. Ahmad For The Herald-News May 11, 2012 10:20AM
Updated: June 15, 2012 8:05AM
MORRIS — Grundy County will receive hundreds of thousands of unexpected dollars over the next 20 years.
The county board unanimously passed an agreement last week that will allow for the county to receive about $140,000 per year for 20 years from the Rock Island Clean Line energy company for commissioning its electric transmission lines.
The county has Iowa to thank for this windfall. Clean Line Energy is developing a 500-mile, high-voltage direct current electric transmission line designed to connect wind farms in Iowa and bordering states. About 20 miles of the line will be running through Grundy County.
Iowa statute requires a $7,000 per mile per year fee instead of taxes for these lines, said Doug Jones, director of community outreach for Clean Line Energy. Illinois does not demand this fee nor does Grundy County levy real estate tax on utility easements interests or transmission line improvements.
Jones told the board that Clean Line wanted to make the same fee offer to Grundy County “in a continued effort towards transparency.” In return the county will agree to provide assistance in the development and construction of the project. The project is also expected to generate construction jobs in the area.
The county will disperse the $140,000 per year fee to all appropriate taxing bodies, said Grundy County Administrator Shawn Hamilton.