The Preservation of Rural Iowa Alliance 
July 25, 2015 
2 Year Anniversary Newsletter 
Pictures Tell Our Story 
Along the proposed route  
Click Here to see more pictures on our website
Example of proposed lattice pole 
Example of proposed monopole 

On our 2 year anniversary,
our mission to stop eminent domain
abuse and protect private property rights
continues to successfully stop RICL from
advancing their project.
Message From The Board of Directors

It is hard to believe it has been 2 years since our first meeting held on July 25, 2013 in Ayrshire, Iowa.  At that time we did not know what we would be facing or if there would be support for a statewide grassroots organization.  
We continue to be impressed with the ongoing support from people who have the same concerns as the initial group from Northwest Iowa.  

With the help of a dedicated board of directors who continue to meet nearly weekly donating countless hours and countless community members, we are successfully moving forward with our strategy to protect private property rights. 

A big part of our role as your advocate is to monitor all IUB and RICL activities.  At this time there is no movement on the part of RICL to complete work on the petitions for franchise in each county which includes submitting Exhibit E's for each parcel of land without a voluntary easement. Until that work is completed and the petitions for franchise are deemed "in order" - a public hearing date will not be set. 

Many of our accomplishments and updates from the past two years can be found on our website in the archived newsletters. The strength of our organization is directly related to the resolve of landowners and community members across the state.  

Thank you very much for continuing work with us to do this important work!!!
Carolyn Sheridan 
Board of Director President 
On Behalf of The Preservation of Rural Iowa Alliance 
Major Milestones and Accomplishments 
This does not include all activities and accomplishments in the past 2 years.  
  • July 25, 2013 The Preservation of Rural Iowa Alliance formed
  • Board of Directors elected 
  • Legal representation secured
  • Fund raising strategy and goals established
  • By-laws adopted
  • Official website established 
  • Official brochure created 
  • Official phone number established
  • Official email address established 
  • Face Book account created
  • Constant Contact electronic newsletters
  • T-shirts created 
  • Informational Meetings in all 16 counties attended by Board members 
  • 14 community meetings in 2013 and 2014
  • 8 community meetings in 2015 
  • Board of director meetings nearly every week for 2 years 
  • Marketing strategy including mailing numerous post cards and newsletters
  • Marketing and publicity items created (banners, posters, flyers, press releases) 
  • Ads in local and regional newspapers
  • Radio and TV interviews 
  • Numerous editorials and opinion articles in local, regional and state news publications
  • Meetings with Agriculture Commodity groups and Farm Bureau
  • Meetings with county supervisors 
  • Collaboration with key legislators in 2014 and 2015 sessions
  • Hired lobbyist firm for 2015 legislative session 
  • Fund raising strategy and goals established 
  • Mailing list established with over 1850 contacts
  • 56% of Fund Raising Goal reached by July 25, 2015 
Financial Update
Fundraising goal for projected expenses:  $350,000
56% of Fund Raising Goal reached by July 25, 2015

Funds raised to date:  $196,000
Expenses to Date : $146,000

Current Fund Raising Goal: $150,000 additional dollars 
Expenses (this is not an exhaustive list of expenses): 
  • Attorney fees
  • Expert Witnesses
  • Publicity /Advertising 
  • Mailings
  • Marketing (website, Facebook boosts, ads, grapic design)
  • Banking fees
  • Non Profit filing fees 
  • Majority of all other expenses donated
The ability to stop RICL from taking private property for economic gain is directly related to the fundraising efforts of our organization. 
We continue to monitor the need for additional funds closely. If RICL begins to survey properties and finalize petitions for franchise with the IUB we will need to begin fundraising in earnest to be prepared for the public hearing. It is a balancing act to maintain adequate funds for current activities while not asking for additional funds until needed. Any contributions at this point are appreciated. We appreciate the trust you have placed in our organization. Click here for more information on how to donate to our organization. 
Look for our newsletter in your mail this week. Over the past 2 years we have found many ways to keep in touch with people across the state.  Early in our fight we began using Constant Contact to send electronic newsletter like this one as well as sending newsletters by mail.  We also discovered that sending a post card helps with bringing attention to important issues.  Our newsletters are archived on our website and give a good history of what has happened since our first meeting in Ayrshire on July 25th 2013.  Click here to check out our past newsletters.  
Easements and Objections 
Voluntary Easements:  Less than 15% 
The number of voluntary easements remain flat with 176 registered at county court houses in all 16 counties. The Alliance routinely checks each county court house to monitor these numbers. 

Low numbers of voluntary easements continues to be a critical part of our strategic plan. For more information on easement agreements click here.

Objections: 1327 formal objections 
Click to see table  with numbers in each county. Filing objections is still important. This will remain high on our priority list until we are no longer able to file objections. We are monitoring this process closely and will let you know when you can no longer file an objection. If you are a landowner and you choose to testify on your own behalf at the upcoming public hearing you must file an objection to be considered a "recognized party" by the Iowa Utilities Board.

Justin LaVan Bi
Legal Update 
Justin LaVan joined The Bradshaw Law Firm in Des Moines, Iowa on March 1st and continues to provide our legal counsel. Justin works with other attorneys as needed  identified expert witnesses in preparation for the public hearing.

Part of our legal defense is to keep updated on all aspects of the Iowa Utilities Board process as well as monitoring activities of Clean Line Energy (RICL parent company) so we can update you and provide appropriate legal action.  

Iowa Farm Bureau Website
Iowa Farm Bureau Members
We need your help!
Iowa Farm Bureau Federation  will hold its annual policy conference on September 1st to debate policy resolutions, including a resolution that would require 75% signed voluntary easements before eminent domain could be granted.

Farm Bureau has an established "policy development process" which is outlined on their website and can be downloaded by clicking here. 

Farm Bureau holds district meetings in late August to discuss the resolutions that will be debated and voted upon at the Iowa Farm Bureau  policy conference on September 1st. These pre-policy district meetings are an opportunity for county board members to attend and to voice their opinions on these resolutions.

Talk to your local county Farm Bureau board and ask for their Voting Delegate to support this important eminent domain resolution at the IFB policy conference. You can also rank priorities from your counties survey by going to the Farm Bureau website and do what is called "issue surfacing".  

Call your local Farm Bureau office for more information. Good support from across the state is important for passage of this resolution and sends another strong message to gain support for private property rights. 
Missouri Ruling 
Private Property Rights won a major victory on July 1st in Missouri providing an example of how landowners can be successful as a large group of people with a common goal. In their 3-2 vote to deny the Grain Belt Express project - the Missouri Public Service Commission's cited opposition from a vocal group of farmers and rural landowners opposed to eminent domain. 

We are working with the Missouri legal team as we move forward with our legal defense and this decision is very positive. Block Grain Belt Express is the Missouri opposition group very similar to Iowa and Illinois groups. Our groups work together as we move forward to stop Clean Line.  Click here to read our recent press release.
Illinois Update 
Illinois portion of the proposed RICL route (125 miles) is now in the appeal stage of the process.  Appeals have been filed by the Illinois Landowners Association, Illinois Farm Bureau and ComED (Illinois Landowers Legal team).  
Grain Belt Express is a 700 mile Clean Line project with the proposed route going through Kansas, Missouri, Illinois and Indiana.  Illinois landowners have established a separate grassroots organization (Block Grain Belt Express Illinois) to work on this separate project with public hearings being held next week in impacted counties of Illinois.

Collaboration with other states who have Clean Line Energy projects is an important aspect of our strategy. All states have different processes but much of the Clean Line information and strategies are the same.  Expert witnesses and attorneys from different states learn from each other making our opposition efforts stronger. 
2015 Session

Legislation preventing Rock Island Clean Line from obtaining eminent domain ultimately was not successful. This was due in large part to legislative leadership not bringing bills to the house and senate floor for debate. At the end of the session we did have a very successful year educating legislators and the public as well as shifting public opinion in our favor. 

Legislators continue to remain vigilant and a common opinion is that as long as RICL struggles to get voluntary easements our legislation is very much alive for this coming session. This is a two-year General Assembly, any bill that was not successful is still very much alive and on the table for the next session in January.

Your Legislators need to hear from you all year!
Contact your legislator by calling, emailing or writing a letter to give them your feedback on the abuse of eminent domain. Find more information on our website on how to contact legislators on our webstie. 


Our website underwent major revisions last fall and continues to be one of the best ways to stay in touch with people regarding important issues.

Check out our website for updates and to find information on the proposed RICL project. 

Board of Directors
The Presevation of Rural Iowa Alliance
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