Ameren has Illinois residents looking for answers

Nearly 100 Illinois residents filled the meeting room at the Quincy Public Library Wednesday night, looking for answers.

The Ameren Transmission Line Project is one of Ameren's biggest, and residents want to know how it will affect their land.

Wednesday's meeting involved the public and an attorney from Sever Storey law firm.

This law firm specializes in representing landowners.

Jordan Walker is an associate attorney with the firm, and wanted the people to know ...

"You have a fight. You have leverage as a landowner, as a citizen both in the state of Illinois and the United States to get just compensation. The law says it, the US Constitution says it. It's important to exercise those rights, and understand that even though it's a big huge company, you still have rights as a landowner that quite frankly need to be exercised," Walker said.

Walker said people need to be prepared for when Ameren begins to look to compensate the public for their land.

He says there is more to the compensation than just a verbal proposal.

Ameren does not have eminent domain currently.

Therefore they cannot just acquire property for public use, such as the transmission line project.

"Ameren has not sought that power. They intend, at least right now, to acquire all of the properties via private negotiations or arms length transactions. For purposes of a project like that, it's pretty much moot, because if they don't get it now, they eventually will get it," Walker said.

Some of the audience members say that they got a lot out of this informational session.

"Tonight was well worth for us to be aware of our options. If it comes to it and we are affected, than we are a lot smarter than when we came," landowner Kham Kurfman said.

Walker recommends seeking legal aid sooner rather than later.

Even though it's not certain who will have the transmission line on their property, he says you should prepare anyway.

For more information about the proposed project and a map click here.

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