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May 25, 2024

Peabody Coal wants to defend Cottage Township in Court –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On July 26, 2014


Peabody Coal has been trying to get a road in Cottage Township abandoned so they can claim it, disrupting regular traffic patterns of the citizens in the area.

In a long fight over the road, a Cottage Township Road Commissioner resigned rather than vacate the road. What happened later is a string of events that is sure to come undone.

Cottage Township held a public meeting that is alleged to have been an illegal meeting because of allegations that an proper notice and agenda were not posted at least 48 hours in advance of the meeting as required by the Open Meetings Act (OMA). During this meeting in question, the Township appointed a new road commissioner, who later declined to vacate the road. When that decision was made, some citizens petitioned to the County Highway Engineer and another hearing was held. The County Engineer listened to both side at the hearing and determine the road should be vacated.

Prior to the hearing, Angela Howser, from Disclosure, filed an Open Meetings Act civil suit and asked for and received an emergency injunction against the township holding meetings in violation of the OMA. She later filed an amended complaint asking for the alleged illegal meeting be declared void, along with all subsequent events that occurred as a result of that meeting: the appointment, decision to not vacate, petition for review, new hearing, and decision by the county engineer to vacate the road – wanting all of it declared void because had it not been for the appointment at the alleged illegal meeting, none of it would have occurred in the fashion that it did.

At the first hearing for the alleged violation of the Open Meetings Act, Peabody Coal petitioned the Court to allow them to intervene on the Township’s behalf to defend against the OMA violation complaint. Next hearing date is August 9th.

Read more at this link: DisclosureNewsOnline




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  • franklin
    Posted at 17:32h, 26 July Reply

    I think nothing could be done to road until D.O.T. has a study done.
    D.O.T. has the last say.

    • jmkraft
      Posted at 17:43h, 26 July Reply

      It’s a township road that once abandoned belongs to either Peabody or the property owners on it, who will then sell or lease the mineral rights under it. That is my understanding.

      • franklin
        Posted at 22:55h, 26 July Reply

        but did IDOT Condem or abandone this road Even if its a township IDOT has to say
        Don’t take my word but I saw this once in the city of Paris and IDOT overruled

        • jmkraft
          Posted at 08:09h, 27 July Reply

          I did not look into it. I do know the people that do not want it vacated can appeal the County Highway Engineer’s decision to the Circuit Court.

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