Land owner to get $4.7 million in eminent domain case

Steve Gonzalez Nov. 9, 2005, 2:33pm

The State of Illinois has to pay Rick Jones more than $4.7 million for land it took from him in May 2000 for a 20-mile extension of Interstate 255 in Wood River.

A Madison County jury delivered the verdict Wednesday afternoon.

Invoking eminent domain more than five years ago, the state took part of a 180-acre tract of land Jones owned in Wood River so it could extend the interstate to Godfrey.

At present, I-255 ends in Wood River.

Henry Sterling, who represented Jones, told the jury his client was seeking approximately $6 million for the land the state took.

The state was represented by Bill Broom of Carbondale and Philip Alfeld of Alton.

Jones, the president of an environmental clean-up firm Triad Industries, claims he wanted to develop his land into an upscale neighborhood development and had once asked the state to pay him $10 million, but was only offered approximately $2 million.

Associate Judge Barbara Crowder presided over the case.

During voir dire she told jurors to set aside their feelings on eminent domain because the case was strictly related to how much money Jones was entitled to receive.

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