Board of Supervisors

Posted December 12, 2012 at 11:56 am

HVDC project proposed to county

By Kim Brooks, Express Editor

During the Jones County Board of Supervisors meeting on Dec. 4, it was announced that Community Care Inc., located at the Broadway Place Annex in Anamosa (former Jones Regional Medical Center), would be closing its doors within 30 to 60 days. County Auditor Janine Sulzner said the closure would just affect the Anamosa location.

According to their website, “Community Care, Inc. offers programs and services to individuals with developmental and/or intellectual disabilities, mental illness and brain injury in the following Iowa counties: Clinton, Scott, Jackson, Jones, Cedar, Linn, Marion, Chickasaw and Howard.”

Deb Schultz, county community services coordinator, added that CCI in Anamosa served 20-some clients, with just two Jones County residents. She said they are working on placements for the residents.

Beth Conley, regional outreach manager with Clean Line Energy Partners, gave a presentation on a proposed route for high-voltage, direct current transmission lines through Iowa, to include Jones County.

The Rock Island Clean Line will connect 3,500 megawatts of wind power from Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and Minnesota to communities in Illinois and other states to the east. This is to deliver clean, renewable energy to communities that need it, representing the new farm to market model for the 21st century.

“We are trying to connect the best renewable resources in the country with consumers,” said Conley.

Laying out the benefits of the proposed project, Conley said the economic benefits include:

• 5,000-plus construction jobs

• 500 -plus operations jobs

• $2 billion in project investments

• $7 billion in new wind farm investments

• 1.4 million homes a year could be powered

• Millions of dollars a year will be spent on property tax revenue in Iowa

• Consumers benefit from increased market competition

The environmental benefits include:

• A reduction in carbon dioxide pollution. Nine million tons a year will be eliminated, equal to taking 1.7 million cars off the road each year.

• A reduction in sulfur dioxide pollution. Sulfur dioxide is a precursor to acid rain, and 16,100 tons a year will be eliminated.

• A reduction in nitrogen oxide pollution. Nitrogen oxide contributes to smog, and 8,300 tons a year will be eliminated.

• Over 3.5 billion gallons of water a year will be saved.

• 140 pounds of mercury pollutants will be reduced each year.

“We can deliver three times the amount of power as the Hoover Dam,” said Conley. She said HVDC (high-voltage, direct current) lines are more efficient, cost less, offer improved reliability and leave a smaller carbon footprint.

What Rock Island Clean Line is looking at doing is acquiring land for the power lines. Conley said they want to be as non-intrusive as possible to landowners. They hope to have a solid plan in place by mid-2013.

Conley said they are also working on an agricultural-impact study to see how it affects property/land.

The next immediate steps will be to hold public meetings for input from the landowners and people involved and affected.

To find out more about this project, visit www.rockislandcleanline.com, www.cleanlineenergy.com or visit them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/rockislandcleanline. You can also call them toll free with any questions at 1-877-907-8516. You can e-mail Beth Conley with questions at bconley@cleanlineneregy.com.

In other county business:

• A grant was awarded to assist in registering Wapsipinicon State Park on the National Register of Historic Places.

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