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CCADC concerned about pipeline plans for Avenue Development Park

CCADC concerned about pipeline plans for Avenue Development Park
Grant E. Terry, right, Iowa construction manager for the proposed Summit Carbon Solutions pipeline, talks with the Charles City Area Development Corp. board Wednesday morning about the plan for the pipeline to cross the Avenue of the Saints Development Park that the CCADC owns. Other board members shown are Randy Heitz, left, and Doug Kamm, center. Press photo by Bob Steenson
By Bob Steenson,

There are a lot of people who have questions or concerns about a proposed Summit Carbon Solutions carbon dioxide pipeline across the state. As of Wednesday, 111 people or organizations have filed objections with the Iowa Utilities Board.

One of the property owners with concerns is the Charles City Area Development Corp., which owns the Avenue of the Saints Development Park. The proposed underground pipeline route goes right across the northern part of the parcels that make up the development park.

CCADC concerned about pipeline plans for Avenue Development ParkMembers of the group’s board of directors discussed the project at their regular monthly meeting Wednesday morning with Grant Terry, the construction manager for the Iowa portion of the project for Summit Carbon Solutions.

Also at the meeting the board celebrated the organization’s recent success being accredited by the International Economic Development Council as an accredited economic development organization, one of only 69 worldwide.

Regarding the pipeline proposal, when Terry was asked about the easement restrictions for the pipeline route he said no permanent features could be built on it. That includes no paved streets or parking lots, he said, when asked about those specifically.

Board members said those restrictions could prevent anyone from getting access to parts of the development, and could seriously limit the park’s attractiveness to a business or developer.

“That’s a huge issue, because all of a sudden we have a piece of property we can’t use,” said CCADC board member Bill Kyle.

Board member Randy Heitz said, “This delays being able to sell the property. No investor will buy it with that hanging over it.”

Tim Fox, the CCADC executive director, said, “I’d say this significantly compromises our competitiveness as an industrial park and as a community to have a pipeline that we can’t cross.”

Terry said the company is willing to work with the Area Development Corp. for potential solutions, including possibly moving the pipeline to the south edge of the property, but the first consideration is safety.

A street over the pipe with vehicles driving over it can put stress on the pipeline, although that can be compensated for by using heavier pipe, he said. If there were to be a leak in the pipeline under a paved parking lot that could delay the time it takes to fix it, he said.

Doug Kamm, a board member and county supervisor, said that obviously the pipeline will go under streets and roads in some places.

“You can’t make a blanket statement that you can’t be under roads, because you can’t cross Iowa without going underneath a bunch of roads,” Kamm said.

Summit Carbon Solutions is proposing to build a 710-mile pipeline network to capture carbon dioxide from ethanol plants and other CO2 producers in Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska, liquify it and transport it to North Dakota where it will be sequestered deep underground in geological formations.

The company has emphasized that it will try to reach voluntary easement agreements with all the property owners affected by the project, including compensating landowners for the full value of the property used even though the landowner would continue to own it, and paying farmers for three years of potential crop damage whether any damage takes place or not.

But there is also the possibility that the Iowa Utilities Board could authorize the company to use imminent domain to force easements, although the property owners would still need to be fairly compensated.

If approved by the Iowa Utilities Board, the project hopes to begin construction in 2023 and be active in 2024, capturing 12 million metric tons of CO2 per year.

Terry said Summit Carbon Solutions hopes to have surveys done and a final route set by the end of the year.

Once the company has a certain number of surveys complete then it can apply for an Iowa Utility Board permit and submit its Agricultural Impact Mitigation Plan, he said.

There is a 16 to 18 month review period before a permit would be granted or turned down, Terry said.

Fox asked whether it would be better to work with Summit Carbon Solutions about the CCADC’s concerns in the industrial park, or file an objection with the Iowa Utilities Board.

Terry said it was “completely up to you” which to choose.

“If you were to file a complaint with us and you were to work through it and it’s something that we can’t accommodate, then obviously if you’re still upset and you want to file a complaint I’d say file it with IUB,” he said.

But another board member added, “You understand this is devastating to the whole concept here. This thing going through the middle of the property really devalues the whole property.”

Also at the meeting Wednesday, the CCADC board:

  • Agreed to sell the more than 62 acres in the Oliver Development Park — The former White/Oliver Farm Equipment and Tractor Factory, which closed in 1994 — to Iron Mountain Land Co. LLC, for $20,000, with an agreement that money would be used for environmental purposes at the site.

The property will be used by a new company called Charles City Rail Terminal LLC as a truck and rail loading facility, to receive liquid petroleum (LP) from trains and store it short term and load it onto tanker trucks for regional distribution, and to receive shipments of biorenewable oils from area sources for loading onto rail tanker cars.

Dennis Rippentrop is vice president of Charles City Rail Terminal and manager of Iron Mountain Land Co.

  • Learned from Fox that the group had received accreditation from the International Economic Development Council as an accredited economic development organization — one of only 69 worldwide and one of only two in the state, following an extensive application process which concluded with a site visit by representatives of the organization the end of last month.

Fox said the IEDC representatives were very complimentary about the CCADC organization and the community, and once the accreditation plaque is received he would like to hold a public event, inviting the governor and the director of the Iowa Department of Economic Development.

  • Agreed to continue with the organization’s free furnace replacement program, awarding free installed furnaces to the first 18 applicants who meet the income qualification of being at or below the 30% median household income threshold, and if there aren’t 18 applicants who meet that threshold, accepting the next applications from people who meet a 50% household median income threshold, until all 18 furnaces the organization can fund this year are taken.

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