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Legislators talk about eminent domain bill

With the Iowa legislature looking at possibly toughening restrictions on the use of eminent domain to protect property owners, Clarke County officials wonder what the legislation could mean for the future of the proposed reservoir project if passed.

Locals expressed their concerns to Rep. Joel Fry R-Osceola and Sen. Joni Ernst R-Red Oak during a legislative luncheon Friday.

Locals officials are concerned the legislation would stop them from building the lake. Eminent domain is the right of the state to take private land, with just compensation, for public use. In 2006, the Iowa legislature reformed part of the state’s eminent domain laws and are looking at tighter restrictions.

The Iowa House passed the bill 91 to 6. However, Fry abstained during the vote.

“In talking with the chief clerk of the house everyone believed that I needed to abstain from that because I have vested interest in the middle of a lake project here in Clarke County,” he said.

• To read more of this story, see the March 31 edition of the Sentinel.

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