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Landowners Express Concerns about Grain Belt Express

The final routes were presented to Buchanan County commissioners and the public at a meeting on Monday.
(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Ted and Rhonda Rogers live in a 200-year-old house in Buchanan County. They have more than 250 acres and have farmed the land for decades.

But they, like many landowners in the county, are concerned about the proposed Grain Belt Express that will cut through their land.

"It's real scary," said Ted. "They're going to ruin our wildlife, they're going to take a 200 foot swath through our property."

The company behind the project, Clean Line Energy Partners, presented a final map of where energy lines will run at the Buchanan County courthouse Monday.

"We're meeting with the commissioner and folks at the meeting to explain a little bit more about the project," said Mark Lawlor, a representative for the company.

The transmission line will run right through the Rogers' property.

"We'll never get the value back, they will pay us for some of it, but it will never add back up to what they are taking from us," Rogers said.

The project has been several years in the making, and the company has met with landowners throughout the states affected. Their goal is to provide renewable wind energy to customers in Missouri and states further east. Clean Line Energy Partners will present their proposal to the Missouri Public Service Commission this week.

"In order to be a public utility in the state of Missouri, you need to provide a public service and so in this case it's going to be providing utility service in the form of electricity, and we need to demonstrate there is a need," Lawlor said.

For landowners like the Rogers, they say they want nothing to do with it and will fight for their land. That includes going to meetings like these and hiring an attorney.

"I'm going to fight it period, even if they move it away from the house," Rogers said.

The county has scheduled another meeting with landowners and the company for April 3rd at 10 a.m.

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