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Clean Line Energy To Hold Public Hearings in August

Plans continue with Clean Line Energy Partners to develop a high voltage electric transmission line that would transport power from southwest Kansas wind farms to customers in eastern urban areas. The 700 mile route would begin near Dodge City, coming north past Great Bend, continuing through central Kansas near Beloit and Concordia. The proposed “middle route” would then continue into the southwest corner of Washington County passing just south of Washington, Marysville, Seneca, and Hiawatha before continuing through Missouri, Illinois and Indiana. The route was among three being considered, and was announced with the application filing with the Kansas Corporation Commission on Monday. It parallels an existing Westar line locally.

A series of four public hearings in August will allow for public comment. The first in Seneca at the Community Building will be August 12, then in Beloit August 14, Russell August 20, and Kinsley August 22. The meetings begin at 6 pm. Written comments will also be accepted by the K.C.C. through August 28. An overview map of the route is available online at grainbeltexpresscleanline.com.

The project has drawn criticism from landowners and farmers who contend that the additional lines would limit their ability to work their land, could reduce land values, and how the electricity might affect livestock. Concerns have also been raised regarding a ten year tax abatement on the line, which was imposed by the Kansas Legislature previously. Officials counter that landowners would be compensated for land leased, and farming operations would not be adversely affected. On the tax abatement, they point to the out years after the ten year exemption, when they would pay a 33% tax rate.

The K.C.C. has 120 days from the application filing this past Monday to decide whether to approve the route.

About Bruce Dierking

Bruce Dierking owns and operates Dierking Communications, Inc. with stations KNDY/KNDY FM Marysville, KS since 1988, KQNK/KQNK FM Norton, KS since 1999, and KDNS FM/KZDY FM Glen Elder since 2008. A fifth generation native of Marshall County, and a 1980 graduate of Marysville High School, he began a broadcasting career working part time at the age of 14 for Herb and Ruby Hoeflicker at KNDY. After attending Colby, Kansas Community College, with a major in business and broadcasting, Dierking returned to his hometown covering sports and sales, now having served as the voice of the Marysville Bulldogs, as well as area teams for over 35 years. Active in various leadership roles, he has served as President with the Marysville Jaycees, President of the Kansas Jaycees, and National Vice President with the US Jr Chamber of Commerce. He has been a board member, and past President of the Marysville Chamber of Commerce, served many years as Vice President of Marshall County Development Corporation, served 8 years on the Kansas Association of Broadcasters including Secretary/Treasurer, Chair Elect, and Chairman of the board. He has twice served terms on the Good Shepherd Lutheran School Board serving as President, and held several leadership roles with Mt Calvary Lutheran Church, serving as congregation Chairman. He, his wife Lesa, and daughter Allison are active in many community activities, contributing to, providing publicity for, and volunteering. He is currently active with the Marysville Historic Depot restoration project, serving as Vice President. A mentor to many in the broadcasting industry, Dierking continues an active role in station operations, on the air with the morning show each day, traveling many nights to cover ballgames, and present covering local events for news broadcasts. He is passionate about his community, and the rural midwest. An active historian, genealogy, community development, Kansas and architectural history are among interests. Dierking enjoys travel, having visited nearly every state, and several foreign countries. He is a fan of music, and enjoys reading.