Eminent domain cases filed for Ameren project

By Gary Scott on December 24, 2015 at 11:45am

Eminent domain claims have been filed by Ameren in its efforts to create an electricity transmission line across West Central Illinois.

Thirteen eminent domain claims were filed in Morgan and Scott County Courts last week by Ameren Transmission Company of Illinois against landowners- nine in Morgan, four in Scott- seeking condemnation of the land so that the company can construct the Illinois Rivers Transmission Line.

In the legal documents, Ameren is seeking a court-ruled determination of fair compensation because the company has been unable to agree to an amount with the landowners, despite what Ameren calls “good faith” attempts.

Construction for the one-point-four-billion-dollar, 345-thousand-volt power line project got underway in late September. Eminent domain use was approved last summer.

The power line is to run from west to east through Central Illinois. We ran searches in all of the affected counties, and saw similar eminent domain cases in Adams, Pike, Christian and Macon Counties. In addition to Morgan and Scott, it also hits Cass County, but no cases have been filed there.

In a statement provided to WLDS-WEAI News, Illinois Rivers Transmission Project director Clifford Waits said Ameren is using eminent domain “only as a last resort.”

The statements also says, “We have been successful in obtaining voluntary agreements in the vast majority of cases. Despite these efforts, we have been unable to come to voluntary agreements with a small number of property owners.”

We reached out to several local landowners involved. They declined to speak with us.