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Eminent domain lawyer meets with Neighbors United, advises property owners of rights

(KTVO File)
(KTVO File)
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Although the fate of a major power line project passing through northeast Missouri is still unknown, one thing is for certain: the local citizens in opposition to the project aren't losing their spark in the fight.

In late April, the Missouri Public Service Commission (PSC) voted unanimously to approve Ameren Transmission Company of Illinois'(ATXI) request to construct a 345,000 volt transmission line from Palmyra to Kirksville and then north to the Iowa border. However, the PSC also attached the condition that ATXI must receive consent from each county commissioner in the 5 northeast Missouri counties involved before any construction can begin.

That consent has yet to be received. While the transmission line has been the hotly debated topic for some time now, some landowners still have questions, which is why an informational meeting was held Monday night in Kirksville.

The meeting, which was put together by the opposition group, Neighbors United, focused on eminent domain and easements. Recently, a number of potentially affected landowners have been receiving paperwork from ATXI asking for their signature on an 'easement and settlement package'.

Eminent domain lawyer Paul Henry was in attendance at the meeting to explain the rights of property owners. He has looked over the paperwork sent out by ATXI, and is advising landowners not to sign the contracts at this time.

"The important thing is, not to sign it [contract] until you really know what you are signing. These are put together by their [ATXI] lawyers, they understand what the documents mean, but the owners don't. Many lawyers, myself included, will sit down and look at paperwork like this and give an initial consultation without charging anything."

If you didn't have a chance to attend Monday night's meeting with lawyer Paul Henry, you still have two more chances this week to do so.

Tuesday night, a presentation will be made at the Schuyler County Nutrition Site in Lancaster. That meeting will begin at 7 o'clock.

Wednesday night, a presentation will be held at the Bethel Christian Church along Highway 15 in Bethel. That meeting will also begin at 7:00.

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