Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Indiana, Illinois Farmers Rally To Protect Farmland

Farmers from Indiana and Illinois will combine to form a 50 mile parade to demonstrate what they believe would be lost to the proposed Illiana Tollway.  The State of Illinois has passed legislation allowing the use of quick take eminent domain for the Illiana.

Press release from Sierra Club on the parade:

"On Saturday October 11, 2014 opponents to the Illiana toll road will form a parade to demonstrate their dissent against the loss of rural heritage, farmland, businesses and homes. The parade with assemble at 7:30 am from the two ends of the proposed road corridor route, meeting in the middle at the Will County Fair Grounds at 2:00 pm for a rally. Participants from Indiana, Eastern Will County and Kankakee County will line up at 153rd Avenue and I-65. Western Will County residents will begin in Wilmington, Illinois at 30115 Readman Lane and east I-55 Frontage Road.  

The Illiana Toll road is a proposed 47-mile road that would cut through and destroy 2,600 acres of prime farmland, paving over 40 farms, including centennial farms, stripping people of their land and livelihoods. Traffic to the Illiana will also disturb the peace and interfere with funeral processions of people paying their respects to veterans interred at the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery.
According to regional planning experts at the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, the Illiana would “provide negligible traffic benefits”. The Illiana exposes the states of Illinois and Indiana to considerable financial risk, with Illinois taxpayers potentially on the hook for $440 million to $1.1 billion to compensate the road’s private investors if toll revenue is insufficient. It will divert scarce funding and attention away from critical transportation needs throughout the region. No project is immune.
Virginia Hamann, President of ‘No Illiana 4 US’ explains:

“This land is not only rich in soil but rich in heritage of farmers whom instill the art and lessons of being good stewards of our land to produce crops, livestock and food for their families, our region, our country and the world. This way of life and hard work has been passed on from generation to generation for over 175 years in this region. The Illiana would forever change this - destroying valuable farmland and at least 1/3 of the 75 registered, and numerous others unregistered, Centennial Farms in Will County, IL.”