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Property owners in southern Edgar County are alarmed by the prospect of having massive power poles carrying a 345,000-volt transmission line across their ground.
In August, the Illinois Commerce Commission approved a segment of Ameren’s proposed Illinois Rivers Transmission Line to cross Kansas, Grandview, Symmes and Elbridge Townships. However, the vast majority of the line that stretches more than 300 miles across Illinois from Missouri to Indiana was not approved.
Local opposition started as individual efforts but now people are joining together to pool resources, hire an attorney and wage a legal challenge.
Edgar County Citizens Are Entitled to Due Process has gained about 100 members in a short amount of time and filed documents with the Fourth Appellate Court claiming Ameren failed to meet the legal obligation of providing notice about the proposed line to all impacted property owners.
Vern See explained the coalition came together like “spontaneous combustion.”
He and Tom Ogle, another active member of the group, insisted the effort does not qualify as a NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) reaction.
See acknowledged the nation’s power grid needs to improve and expand, but he objects to how Ameren is attempting to force the issue.
“There are easier paths,” said See.
Ogle agreed. He added other states locate the high-voltage lines along existing interstate highways but that was not the case with the Illinois Rivers proposal.
“They are rushing it,” See said, adding an opinion
that Ameren has not done due diligence and looked at all of the alternatives.
According to Ogle, Edgar County Citizens Are Entitled to Due Process is actively looking for property owners along the proposed route. He said much of the contact list was compiled from Ameren’s own mailing data, but the utility giant itself has not identified every property owner on the path.
See emphasized that county residents who live well away from the proposed line and did not received notice of the plan are still impacted.
“It affects everybody in Edgar County,” he said.
Edgar County Citizens Are Entitled to Due Process will meet monthly, although the schedule is yet to be determined.
Anyone desiring more information or who wants to join the group’s efforts should contact Ogle at 217-463-2768.
If you think you may be affected by the Ameren Three Rivers 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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