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By JoEllen Black/Richmond News
More than 40 Ray County landowners are being sued by Transource Missouri, an investment partner of KCP&L. The eminent domain actions are to acquire rights of way across their property to build a 345,000-volt electrical transmission line. The line is planned to deliver energy from Sibley station to Nebraska City, Neb. The project is tabbed at $400 million.
A legal description of the suit has published in The Richmond News (April 10 and 17), but plaintiffs in the case were served summonses – either by a courier or mail – April 14-15. A court date has been scheduled 10:30 a.m. May 12 at Ray County 8th Circuit Court to determine if the court will grant eminent domain.
The court proceeding to many, including the Ray County Commission, is seen as a foregone conclusion, as state law allows condemnation by public utilities, railroads and other providers for public use. The focus now is getting fair market value and compensation for devaluing, damaging or impeding use of their land.
A handful of the affected landowners, between highways 210 and 10, west of Richmond, met with the commission Monday morning, airing their frustrations on communications with KCP&L representatives – and the helplessness of the fighting a utility giant.