Village may exercise eminent domain rights : MyWebTimes, Ottawa IL, 6/21/07

Seneca officials are near taking legal action over land for the NovaBiosource plant

The village [of Seneca IL] has been trying to work with Canada-based Pipe & Piling Supplies to obtain an easement agreement for a right of way off Union Street that goes east to the fence on the west side of the company's property. The company, located at 501 Shipyard Road, has not been returning phone calls resigning Mayor Kim Hill said.

"Getting an easement agreement with Pipe & Piling has been very difficult," Hill told the Village Board this week. "I've tried calling their Detroit spokesperson several times. My latest phone call was on Monday. None of them have been returned."

Hill said he would give the company until next Monday to respond. If an easement cannot be worked out, the board will begin eminent domain proceedings.

Eminent domain is a legal term that describes the power of the government to take private property for public use, even if the property owner objects. The Constitution's Fifth Amendment gives government the right to take private property if it is for public use and the property owner is paid a fair market value. Public use may include roads, parks, schools, hospitals or other public buildings.

"The lack of right-of-way easement is holding up the construction of the NovaBiosource plant." Hill said. "We need this agreement so that water and sewer services can be extended to the biodiesel plant. If Pipe & Piling doesn't talk with us, eminent domain will be our only option."

MyWebTimes, Ottawa IL: http://mywebtimes.com