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Financial Conversations with Fitz #109 - Be Aware of Underground Lines - 05/22/2012

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Wow, A great weekend for weather and some more graduation activity.  Some very talented young people coming out into the world.  I sure like the idea of graduates giving the speeches.  I think we had some local or regional person give a long boring speech.    He must have been really old at 50!  How many remember your graduation speaker?  I sure don’t.   Most of the corn in the 66 Degree ground and needing a good rain to kick start the beans.  The DOW  was supposed to rebound today but opened a little weak. Grains were sort of crazy on Friday again.  Up one week down the next.  Which side of $5 are you?

I read recently of several accidents on electrical, telephone and most dangerous of all natural gas lines.   With some many acreages and even houses in town owned by someone else beside the builder today, a lot of people aren’t aware of the different utility type lines in their property.    Did you know if you even build a deck on your house you should call IOWA ONE CALL for the location of any lines.   Sometime they aren’t any deeper than 18 inches.    It can be quite dangerous and very expensive if you hit one.    The most recent and most dangerous was an explosion in NW Iowa last month.    A tiler hit a natural gas line.   We were lucky there was not any fatality.   Some of this digging on farms can be chisel plowing, deep ripping,  soil sampling, tile installation and construction.     So next time you tackle any of this call 811 or go to    Lots of good information there.   It is Free and It is the Law!  Most states require 48 hours notice to allow the companies to locate and mark their lines.  Most of the time it is a third party with hired help doing the digging.   You are both responsible for this requirement.    Depending on the type of work some of the companies want to be on site when the activity takes place.   We have a lot of self improvement of tiles lines by a lot of farmers.    Again we have the problem of someone working the land that wasn’t the operator when the original lines went in.   Also a good thing to do is when they do locate them, make a note yourself and post it in the shed or in your record books with your farm papers and FSA papers where the particular lines are located.    Remember we also have a lot of extra power lines that are buried now.    Are you familiar with the different markers that are out there for gas and phone and power lines?    Become familiar with them.    Unfortunately they don’t mark the depth of their line.    That can vary quite a bit depending on the line.    I had occasion when I was putting in a enclosed patio on my own property.    I did have one call do the marking.   Lucky for me that I did because I did nick a phone cable.   I was digging with a hand post hole digger.   I nicked the skin on the line.    The phone company came out to repair because it could have caused a problem later.   They told me since I called I didn’t have to pay, but if I hadn’t I would have paid.    So be safe and save some money and do call.  

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Remember that you should deal with people in community banks and organizations  that when they put something together for you that they will  be sitting with them at ball games, church or community events.  So, if in doubt give us a call.