Any person, corporation, or company authorized to transact business in the state including cities may file a verified petition asking for a franchise to erect, maintain, and operate a line or lines for the transmission, distribution, use, and sale of electric current outside cities and for such purpose to erect, use, and maintain poles, wires, guy wires, towers, cables, conduits, and other fixtures and appliances necessary for conducting electric current for light, heat, or power over, along, and across any public lands, highways, streams, or the lands of any person, company, or corporation, and to acquire necessary interests in real estate for such purposes.
As conditions precedent to the filing of a petition with the utilities board requesting a franchise for a new transmission line, and not less than thirty days prior to the filing of such petition, the person, company, or corporation shall hold informational meetings in each county in which real property or rights therein will be affected. A member of the board, the counsel of the board, or a hearing examiner designated by the board shall serve as the presiding officer at each meeting and present an agenda for such meeting which shall include a summary of the legal rights of the affected landowners. No formal record of the meeting shall be required.
The meeting shall be held at a location reasonably accessible to all persons, companies, or corporations which may be affected by the granting of the franchise.
The person, company, or corporation seeking the franchise for a new transmission line shall give notice of the informational meeting to each person, company, or corporation determined to be the landowner affected by the proposed project and any person, company or corporation in possession of or residing on the property. For the purposes of this section, "landowner" means a person, company, or corporation listed on the tax assessment rolls as responsible for the payment of real estate taxes imposed on the property and "transmission line" means any line capable of operating at thirty-four and one-half kilovolts or more and extending a distance of not less than one mile across privately owned real estate.
The notice shall set forth the name of the applicant; state the applicant's principal place of business; state the general description and purpose of the proposed project; state the general nature of the right of way desired; provide a map showing the route of the proposed project; advise that the landowner has the right to be present at such meetings and to file objections with the utilities board; designate the place and time of the meeting; be served not less than thirty days prior to the time set for the meeting by certified mail with return receipt requested; and be published once in a newspaper of general circulation in the county at least one week and not more than three weeks before the time of the meeting and such publication shall be considered notice to landowners whose residence is not known.
No person, company, or corporation seeking rights under this chapter shall negotiate or purchase any easements or other interests in land in any county known to be affected by the proposed project prior to the informational meeting.
[S13, § 2120-n; C24, 27, 31, 35, 39, § 8310; C46, 50, 54, 58, 62, 66, 71, 73, 75, § 489.2; C77, 79, 81, § 478.2]
94 Acts, ch 1136, §2
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