Story County is now added to the list of places in Iowa where there is a potential for the use of eminent domain to take property from farmers and landowners. You may read about the complicated attempt to take Story County land for a water treatment plant in The Tribune article.
Here we go again.
Once more it was the pain and stress verbalized by the land owners that caught my attention and tugged at my heart.
“Just don’t take my family farm,” said Teresa Garman, who owns land just south of East Riverside Road and west of Dayton Avenue.
Garman said owning a farm is different from owning a house in the city.
“That’s my life,” she said. “I’m not going peacefully, I’ll tell you that.”
Story County citizens have the opportunity to attend the May 11 Ames City Council informational meeting. This meeting is important. As other landowners have learned the hard way, the desire to take land is strong and the “government entities” have the money and resources to force their will on those who do not have the money and legal assistance at their disposal. The public must pay attention to the discussion and the decisions that will occur.
Meanwhile, eminent domain issues are not going well for those who covet land in Clarke County.
A proposed reservoir project in the county has again been delayed, and those working on the project aren’t happy about it.
“We keep getting shoved back a month, six months, a year,” said Harold Allen Jr., a commission member representing Woodburn. “We can’t even get a date set…. and I have a problem with that.”
It seems there is an issue with the Code of Iowa and existing hog confinements being 1,000 feet away from a major water source.
In a Letter to the Editor published in the Osceola Sentinel- Tribune, Kathy Kelly comments on the location of the hog confinement units. She also highlights some of the costs associated with building a recreation/water source lake.
Expenditures the Clarke County Reservoir Commission won’t bring to your attention:
• USDA NRCS (federal assistance planning leader and staff) (from 4/23/09) $68,207.22
• USDA NRCS (balance payable on contract thru 8/31/2010) $127,204.66
• Lawyers $ 62,521.22
• Southern Iowa RC&D (affiliate of NRCS) (for administrative assistance) $53,200
• Howard R. Green, Garden Associates (engineering firms) $39,275.15
• GLB Enterprises, LLC (prematurely hired land acquisition coordinator) $70,222
• Website design $1,500.00
It is apparent that the threat of eminent domain continues to march through Iowa. Landowners pitted against land takers.
As Iowans look at the various candidates who wish to represent us at the Iowa State House I strongly suggest that we ask them their views on the use of eminent domain. We need to know which of our elected officials will stand up for landowners rights.
Teresa Garman is “not going peacefully” down the road to give up her land. I feel her pain, I join her struggle. Iowans in other parts of the state can identify with her strong feelings. Many know first hand how “government entities” work to take what is not theirs.
Iowans stand with your neighbors to fight against the growing use of eminent domain.
News of the Clarke County reservoir controversy has opened lingering questions. I can relate to this issue as my county also has a similar controversy.
If I were facing life threatening surgery and treatments, I would want to know all my options and describe the least invasive options. I continue to have questions and I want truthful answers from officials who would have no reason to leave out solutions for a less invasive outcome.
I used to trust what I read and trust the officials in charge to make the right decisions on such matters. My trust was sunk when the lake issue heated up and I learned not to believe everything in print concerning proponents of our lake.
In the lake issues, the statements are often from those who would benefit financially or further career ladders. Lake studies include birdwatching and lake users that are all but believeable. If that is how they base the success of a lake, then it is no wonder our federal government is broke.
Another question is about job creations. We hear that nearly everyday when discussing the stimulus and it is the same for the lake issues. Jobs are created for the building of the structure but these are not lasting jobs.
In our county, some towns get drinking water from river sources and others have wells.
If a drought would happen, everyone would need to conserve. Reservoirs would be the same and there would be the possibility of rationing there also.
A recent letter to the editor wrote about one of Clarke County’s lakes filling in with sediment. If we can’t take care of what we have, why are we building more? Can that lake be repaired and used for a water source?
It seems that both my county and Clarke are using commissions that are making the decisions. These people are not elected but do they have the authority to condemn?
In consideration of our nationwide economic struggles, I just want lifechanging decisions to be fair and justified. Recreation and housing developments are not reasons to force evacuations and condemnations. I think we deserve this issue to be put under an in-depth evaluation. Is that too much to ask?
Well, what do you know: “Clarke County reservoir questions grow.”
According to an article in the Des Moines Register “planners overestimated how much water the Clarke County area will need in the future.”
The landowners have been saying that the water studies have used inflated numbers. It is about time that this part of the land grab story is made public.
I found the entire Des Moines Register article very interesting, especially the last few sentences from Sandy Kale, chairwoman of the Clarke County Reservoir Commission.
“Osceola and the surrounding areas really need this,” Kale said Monday.
“It is a project based on water supply. That’s the focus.”
And why would we believe Kale or anyone else from the Clarke County Reservoir Commission? NEED? I would say it is a WANT and it looks like the land grabbers in Clarke County will do whatever it takes to get what they WANT.
Doug Robins surely would tell you that the landowners NEED their land. They NEED to have a life free from people who see dollar signs for development and recreation.
And the focus? I say it NEEDS to be on the people who seem to be willing to do anything to get what they WANT. The deception of the land grabbers is starting to surface.
Iowans are paying attention to the injustice being played out in Clarke County. We don’t take lightly the attempt to get around the eminent domain law. We care that life is being made miserable for hard working Americans who don’t have the power of government agencies to help them in a battle for their homes and farms.