A 79-mile pipeline that will travel through about 15 miles of northwestern Kankakee County farmland is under construction.
However, the value of the land for eight property owners near Reddick still was unsettled even though the pipeline already is going underground.
In the Kankakee County Circuit Courtroom of Judge Adrienne Albrecht, six of the eight settled late Friday afternoon with crude petroleum company Enbridge Energy of Delaware.
Terms of the agreements were not made public and owners declined to disclose that information.
The eminent domain jury trial to determine the property values with the two remaining property owners — Rochelle Fry, of Reddick, and Bernadette Lamore, of Bonfield — will begin at 10 a.m. Monday.
These cases have nothing to do with blocking the development. The project already has been approved by the Illinois Commerce Commission.
The land owners and the pipeline company have been battling for more than three years regarding the property value. In total, the amount of land is about 20 acres.
When completed, the 79-mile, 36-inch diameter pipeline will carry the crude oil from near Pontiac in Livingston County to Lake County in Indiana. In addition to Kankakee, Livingston and Lake counties, the pipeline also will travel through Grundy, Will and Cook counties.
Enbridge made what it called its "best and final offer" to the eight landowers in mid-May and those offers were rejected. However, late in Friday's pretrial hearing, the offers were put back on the table, and after some deliberation, six accepted the deals.
"I don't feel good about it, but it's time to bring this to a conclusion," said one landowner, Greg Schultz, who will have about three acres of his 40-acre parcel used for the pipeline.
After the hearing, Fry said she couldn't end her fight. "It just didn't seem right," she said. "I've fought long and hard. I'm not ready to give up."
Schultz said once fertile top soil is displaced, the production of the farm ground is diminished.
"We're not fighting to stop this," he said of the pipeline. "We just want to be fairly compensated."