Sever|Storey Blog

New Franklin Council votes to oppose Nexus natural gas pipeline crossing city

NEW FRANKLIN: City Council on Wednesday voted to oppose a new natural gas pipeline that would cross southern Summit County, much to the delight of a standing-room-only crowd of 120 residents.

The vote against was 5-0, with two councilmen absent.

“Hopefully it will help, but I’m not sure,” said council President David Stock.

The proposed Nexus Pipeline poses a threat to New Franklin, the Portage Lakes, local water wells, property values and public safety, said the two-page resolution.

The city would have to spend extra tax revenue on emergency response training and equipment to deal with leaks and spills from the pipeline, it said.

The resolution suggested that the pipeline be rerouted to the south through less-populated areas.

New Franklin intends to send the ordinance to the companies involved, plus federal, state and county officials.

Emotions ran high at the meeting.

Full story here.

If you think you may be affected by the NEXUS Pipeline Project and/or are interested in a free consultation, contact our eminent domain landowner attorneys at 1-888-318-3761 or visit us on the web at www.landownerattorneys.com.

State speeds up $53M I-70 widening project in Clark County

A $53 million construction project to widen the remaining portion of Interstate 70 in Clark County may be funded in fiscal year 2020.

The project — to add a third lane in both directions on I-70 from U.S. 68 to Ohio 72 — had once been delayed until 2036.

The state’s Transportation Review Advisory Council on Thursday announced a draft list of its major construction projects that will be paid for with more than $2 billion in transportation funding.

The 3.4-mile stretch is the only section for about 85 miles along I-70 that has two lanes. The stretch of road runs from the north side of Dayton to the east side of Columbus.

The local project moved up on the state’s priority list and is now among the top 37 transportation projects.

Local leaders and Ohio Department of Transportation District 7 officials have been seeking money for the projects for years and are pleased the construction may accelerated.

Full story here.

If you think you may be affected by the I-70 widening Project and/or are interested in a free consultation, contact our eminent domain landowner attorneys at 1-888-318-3761 or visit us on the web at www.landownerattorneys.com.

Updated U.S. 33 rerouting plans in Goshen includes acquisition of 29 residential properties, 6 businesses

GOSHEN — Planning for the U.S. 33 Northern Connector in Goshen continues, and residents and commuters in the area were able to get the latest updates for the project.

The Indiana Department of Transportation met with the public Tuesday evening, Dec. 16, at the Goshen High School auditorium to give updated information, share the anticipated timeline and get more feedback. 

INDOT, working with city officials, is planning to reroute U.S. 33 away from Madison and Main Streets in downtown Goshen and build a new path for the traffic. The plans also include the construction of three overpasses on Lincoln Avenue, Ninth Street and Cottage Avenue. 

Staff from the INDOT Northwest office first presented the project in March this year, and since then have made some changes to the proposed route and gotten federal approval of its environmental document. 

The project now would require the acquisition of 29 residential properties and six businesses, as opposed to the original 31 residential properties and five business properties. 

Full story here.

If you think you may be affected by the U.S. 33 Northern Connector Project and/or are interested in a free consultation, contact our eminent domain landowner attorneys at 1-888-318-3761 or visit us on the web at www.landownerattorneys.com.

The fight over a proposed pipeline route in Medina will be a test of the system

Medina landowners are concerned that NEXUS Gas Transmission, a project of Texas-based Spectra Energy Corp., may bury a three- to five-foot-diameter pipeline across their properties despite their opposition.

This pipeline would carry natural gas from a processing center in Kensington, Ohio, through an interconnector pipeline in Michigan, to Canada.

Landowners are upset and bewildered. They know property ownership comes with rights, like the ability to choose how property is used.  But those rights are limited.  You can’t use property to create a nuisance or violate zoning regulations. And you might not decide its use at all. 

The Constitution prohibits the taking of private property, for public use, without just compensation. This means that property can be taken, for public use, if the landowner is paid fairly.

That’s what could happen in Medina, where residents received letters from Spectra Energy’s right of way project manager indicating that the company is exploring a pipeline route that would cross, or pass near, their properties. Some residents received follow-up letters requesting access to survey their properties.

Full story here.

If you think you may be affected by the NEXUS Project and/or are interested in a free consultation, contact our eminent domain landowner attorneys at 1-888-318-3761 or visit us on the web at www.landownerattorneys.com.

Share your thoughts with IDOT on Gateway Connector

O’FALLON — There wasn’t much middle ground to be had at the second of two Gateway Connector public hearings Thursday in O’Fallon.

Opponents to the protection district — and any highway itself — came in organized groups and on their own.

“It’s not needed,” said Ronald Trimmer, of Mitchell, who is not directly impacted by the protection district but has friends who are. “It’s an injustice to the people living in the corridor. If they do build it, it’s going to result in more urban sprawl, more businesses move.”

But where some see unnecessary sprawl, others see very necessary progress.

“It’s absolutely needed, it’s going to benefit all the smaller roads,” said Shannon Schmidt. “I do feel bad for the people close to it.

“I’m from Southern California, so I know the importance of these corridors,” she said. Schmidt and her husband live in Belleville on the outskirts of Mascoutah, and the corridor is about half a mile from their home.

“I know it’s necessary, but I’m glad we’re not affected that much,” Bob Schmidt said.

Shannon said she would use the corridor to lessen her commute to Columbia, Kansas City and even Chicago. “I take Illinois 4 now to get to Chicago, and when it’s icy, it’s just so dangerous,” she said.

Engineers in charge of the Gateway Corridor Protection District promise they will give every comment and bit of feedback from the public due consideration. They were pleased that the public hearings gave them opportunities to clear up misunderstandings.

Full story here.

If you think you may be affected by the Gateway Connector Project and/or are interested in a free consultation, contact our eminent domain landowner attorneys at 1-888-318-3761 or visit us on the web at www.landownerattorneys.com.

Illiana toll road plan advances but still far from reality

The federal government on Thursday gave another green light for state officials to proceed with plans for the bistate Illiana toll road, but the action doesn't guarantee that the controversial project will become reality.

Chief among the issues still unresolved is whether the project will have the backing of Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner, who has been non-committal on the Illiana.

The Federal Highway Administration issued a "record of decision" allowing Illinois and Indiana to move ahead with the final design, land acquisition and contracts for construction of the potential $1.3 billion project.

The decision acknowledges that Illinois and Indiana have successfully completed the required environmental impact analyses and that federal officials have signed off on the Illiana's proposed 50-mile-long path.

The action "lays the foundation to move forward," Illinois Department of Transportation spokesman Guy Tridgell said. "There were no red flags raised."

Several hurdles remain however. The most crucial decision will come from Rauner.

Full story here.

If you think you may be affected by the Illiana Project and/or are interested in a free consultation, contact our eminent domain landowner attorneys at 1-888-318-3761 or visit us on the web at www.landownerattorneys.com.

Feds give Illiana Expressway green light

SPRINGFIELD — Illinois and Indiana got a green light Thursday to keep moving forward on plans for a controversial toll road linking the two states.

In a joint announcement, the states said the Federal Highway Administration signed off on the planning phase for the $1.5 billion Illiana Expressway, signaling that officials can now move the project into an implementation phase.

Next up for the 50-mile roadway will be the continued exploration of a public-private partnership to finance the road, as well as the start of land acquisition.

The expressway, envisioned to help motorists bypass heavy traffic congestion in Chicago, would link Interstate 55 near Wilmington in Illinois with Interstate 65 near Lowell in Indiana.

Landowners, environmental groups and regional planning officials say the road will be an expensive boondoggle that will take farmland out of production and provide few benefits for drivers.

Full story here.

If you think you may be affected by the Illiana Project and/or are interested in a free consultation, contact our eminent domain landowner attorneys at 1-888-318-3761 or visit us on the web at www.landownerattorneys.com.

Landowners learn about Clean Line Energy proposal

Representatives from Clean Line Energy met with landowners Tuesday morning at the Church of the Nazarene Fellowship Hall to provide information about the proposed transmission line routes through southern Shelby County.Outside the building, a grassroots protest group fighting the Grain Belt Express gathered to inform landowners of their position.

Touring the room in small groups, the representatives explained how the wind energy could be transmitted from southwestern Kansas to the Eastern Grid link in western Indiana with minimal impact on the land. Three proposed routes cut through townships south of Route 16 in the county. The system is called Grain Belt Express Clean Line.

"Our objective is to get more landowners here to comment on the project," said Clean Line representative Ally Smith. "There will be two more public meetings early next year. We're looking to have large landowner involvement at those meetings. There's a lot of misinformation out there."

Landowners also were asked to locate their property on large maps and mark any outstanding features on their property, such as cemeteries or buildings. Landowners were also asked to fill out a comment card to leave with the representatives.

Full story here.

If you think you may be affected by the Grain Belt Express Clean Line Project and/or are interested in a free consultation, contact our eminent domain landowner attorneys at 1-888-318-3761 or visit us on the web at www.landownerattorneys.com.

Wind energy could soon be making its way through the Tri-States

WINCHESTER, ILL. -- The Grain Belt Express Clean Line is a 750 mile long transmission line that will bring wind energy through the Tri-States. It starts in Kansas and Clean Line Energy Partners want it to stretch across Missouri, Illinois and into Indiana.

The purpose is to bring low cost and clean energy to the Midwest.

And there's a possibility it might be coming to Scott County, Illinois. Which is why one man KHQA spoke with was in attendance Thursday morning.

Full story here.

If you think you may be affected by the Grain Belt Express Clean Line Project and/or are interested in a free consultation, contact our eminent domain landowner attorneys at 1-888-318-3761 or visit us on the web at www.landownerattorneys.com.

ILLIANA TOLLWAY, PEOTONE AIRPORT CONTINUE TO GENERATE QUESTIONS, CRITICISM, CONTROVERSY

What does future hold for Illiana tollway, Peotone airport under Bruce Rauner?

On the campaign trail and before losing the governor’s race, Pat Quinn championed a pair of big public works plans: A long-debated south suburban Chicago airport and a nearby 47-mile tollway that stretches into Northwest Indiana.

Critics call both projects “boondoggles” and dismissed them as Quinn’s vote-getting ploys. Now that governor-elect Bruce Rauner takes office in January, will either the road or the airport have a chance of being built?

Right now, if there is a race between the projects, the edge goes to the road plan dubbed Illiana over the decades-old idea for an airport in and around the Will County village of Peotone—although both are handicapped by strong opposition and there’s no guarantee that either will ever cross the finish line and be completed.

Full story here.

If you think you may be affected by the Illiana Tollway Project and/or are interested in a free consultation, contact our eminent domain landowner attorneys at 1-888-318-3761 or visit us on the web at www.landownerattorneys.com.

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Illiana tollway tops discussion at CMAP open house

 

The GO TO 2040 updated transportation plan is a comprehensive regional plan for all of metropolitan Chicago, but most of those attending Monday’s open house had one road on their mind: the proposed Illiana...

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