COWDEN – A public meeting has many in Shelby County concerned.  Dozens gathered in Cowden Saturday morning to learn the fate of their property.  Grain Belt Express, a private company, wants to build a high-voltage direct current transmission line through several counties in Illinois.  One of them is Shelby County and most residents are against it.

“If this was your property would you want a 200-foot structure looking out your window or going across your land,” said resident Joe Woodall.

The big issue was that the proposed line will run through private property.  Although Grain Belt Express would compensate the affected property owners, they feel their property values would plunge, causing losses that far outweigh the compensation.

“It won’t be worth much for raising cattle or anything like that,” said Woodall.

G.B.E. is seeking “public utility status” – a status that gives private for-profit companies permanent right of way onto private citizens’ land.

“Then I have to fight with towers the rest of my life,” said farmer Don Hennings.

The project could benefit Illinois by adding a new source of cost-competitive renewable energy.  It could even reduce wholesale electricity prices and create hundreds of construction and manufacturing jobs.  But, those incentives don’t seem to be good enough.

Full story here.

If you think you may be affected by the Grain Belt Express 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