Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Illiana Landowner Receives Appraisal Letter

By Ann Baskerville

March 26, 2014

Virginia Hamann--whose home and farm lie in the most recently mapped route of the proposed Illiana Expressway B3 corridor-- received a registered letter this weekend from a real estate appraisal company contracted by the Illinois Department of Transportation.  The letter asked Hamann to call the company if she would like the company to come out and complete an appraisal on her land.  Hamann promptly contacted the company on Monday to state no appraisal company would be allowed on her land without a court order.  

Hamann, a member of No Illiana 4 Us, stated she has received anxiety-ridden emails from other landowners in the B3's proposed path.  One landowner described herself as "nearing a nervous breakdown" due to the uncertainty regarding if, when, and how her land will be taken.  

Virginia Hamann of No Illiana 4 Us responds to emails from landowners in the Illiana Expressway B3's path

While the letter Hamann received does not state the landowner is required by law to allow an appraisal team on the landowner's property, Hamann stated she feels contacting landowners regarding appraisals before a final Federal Record of Decision is on file amounts to "bullying and intimidation, and it needs to stop." Hamann said she encourages all concerned citizens who have not already signed the petition against the Illiana Expressway to do so at the No Illiana 4 Us website

Update: Will County News has received a response to questions from Guy Tridgell, Deputy Director of Communications at the Illinois Department of Transportation. Tridgell's responses to questions are in blue:

Q: Is it the policy of IDOT and the Illiana team to contact landowners like this before the Tier 2 Federal Record of Decision comes down?

As part of the overall land acquisition process, there has been regular contact between us and landowners within the project corridor through public meetings, face-to-face contact and letters.  We will not be making any offers until we receive a final Record of Decision. This is just part of the appraisal process.  

Q: Is IDOT contacting all landowners in the B3 path?

            We are in the process of contacting the owners of all 350 parcels within the expressway corridor.

Q: The landowner I spoke with stated she had been advised not to let any appraisal team on her property unless the appraisal team had a court order.  What is IDOT's procedure for appraising land if the land owner's refuse to allow the appraisers on the land?

If the owner chooses not to make their property available for inspection, the appraiser will perform the inspection off site, from the public way or from an adjacent property.

Will County News has emailed the Illiana Expressway Ombudsman for comment on this issue and will post any received comment as soon as possible. 

Monday, March 10, 2014

Illiana Expressway Tier Two Hearing in Wilmington

Landowners in the B3 Illiana Expressway Corridor meet with land acquisition representatives at the Tier Two Illiana Expressway Public Meeting and Hearing in Wilmington, Illinois, February 2014

Poster about possible road closures due to the Illiana Expressway

Videos of citizens who spoke at the public hearing on the Tier Two Environmental Impact Statement for the Illiana Expressway:

Part One:

Part Two:

Part Three:

Part Four:

Part Five:

Part Six:

Part Seven:

Part Eight:

Part Nine:

Part Ten:

Part Eleven:

Part Twelve:

Part Thirteen:

Part Fourteen"

Part Fifteen:

Part Sixteen:

Part Seventeen:

Part Eighteen:

Part Nineteen:

Part Twenty:

Part Twenty-One:

Part Twenty-Two:

Part Twenty-Three:

Part Twenty-Four:

Part Twenty-Five:

Part Twenty-Six: