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When asked if they would publicly oppose granting eminent domain authority for the proposed Rock Island Clean Line, two local politicians were adament in their position against it.
“I don’t believe a private company should be able to come in from the outside the state and ask for public utility status,” Don Jensen (R) said, adding that a private company should not be able to force its will upon private property owners. “It a person doesn’t want to sell their land or right of way, they shouldn’t have to, particularly to a private company.”
“I’ve already opposed that and they (RICL) have withdrawn it.” Incumbent State Rep. Frank Mautino (D) added that he does not know for certain if RICL will again request public utility status when it submits its papers again.
Mautino and Jensen are currently in a battle over the 76th district State Representative spot.
Currently, the RICL insists it will not use eminent domain to acquire property and will not apply for public utility status to gain the power to do so. Nonethelss, if RICL wishes to, they certainly may apply for eminent domain authority–and would likely succeed in doing so.
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