SB1717 EnrolledLRB099 07543 MGM 27666 b

1    AN ACT concerning the Prairie Wind Trail.
2    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3represented in the General Assembly:
4    Section 1. Short title. This Act may be cited as the
5Prairie Wind Trail Property Transfer Act.
6    Section 5. Legislative statement. Between the years of 1991
7and 2002, the Department of Natural Resources expended $408,085
8to acquire 281.502 acres of real property, in the counties of
9Coles, Douglas and Moultrie, with the intention of constructing
10a recreational trail for use by the general public. The
11intended recreational trail was not constructed because the
12Department of Natural Resources was not able to acquire a
13contiguous linear parcel of real property sufficient to
14construct an uninterrupted recreational trail.
15    Between the years of 1995 and 2011, the Department of
16Natural Resources transferred 47.777 acres of real property to
17several private and public entities. These transfers were
18completed in accordance with Public Acts 88-369, 89-29, 89-223,
1990-760, 91-824, and 96-316.
20    Between 1991 and 2013, the Department of Natural Resources
21expended $207,425.89 in legal defense expenses associated with
22the process of acquiring and holding title to the real property
23constituting the planned Prairie Wind Trail. (See Hemingway v.



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1American Premium Underwriters, Inc., 97-MR-5, Sixth Circuit,
2Douglas County, Illinois and Ag Farms, Inc. v. American Premium
3Underwriters, Inc., 2002-MR-6, Sixth Circuit, Moultrie County,
5    The General Assembly finds that transferring the real
6property known as the Prairie Wind Trail to adjacent owners is
7a public benefit to avoid further expenditure of legal defense
9    Section 10. Definitions. As used in this Act:
10    "Adjacent owner" means an owner of real property with a
11common boundary to parcels comprising the planned Prairie Wind
12Trail owned by the Department of Natural Resources.
13    "Department" means the Department of Natural Resources of
14the State of Illinois.
15    "Prairie Wind Trail" means real property in the counties of
16Coles, Douglas and Moultrie that is owned by the Department of
17Natural Resources and was acquired between the years of 1991
18and 2002 with the intention of constructing a recreational
19trail for use by the general public.
20    Section 15. Authority to convey real estate. The Department
21may transfer and convey all or part of the real estate acquired
22for the Prairie Wind Trail as provided in this Act. In order to
23facilitate the transfers authorized by this Act, the Secretary
24of State shall establish a repository for the deeds, surveys,



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1and related materials for each parcel within the Secretary of
2State Index Department.
3    Section 20. Transfer process.
4    (a) Notwithstanding any provision of the State Property
5Control Act, an adjacent owner may request the transfer of a
6limited portion of the Prairie Wind Trail in accordance with
7this Act. If an adjacent owner desires transfer of a portion of
8the Prairie Wind Trail, the adjacent owner shall provide notice
9to the Department, accompanied by the following:
10        (1) a title search proving ownership or a certified
11    copy of the recorded deed for the adjacent real property;
12        (2) a copy of the most recent real property tax
13    assessment for the adjacent real property; and
14        (3) a notarized affidavit executed by the owner of the
15    adjacent real property affirming current ownership of the
16    adjacent real property.
17    (b) The real estate transferred to an adjacent owner
18pursuant to this Act may not extend beyond an area encompassed
20        (1) the common property boundary;
21        (2) the center line of the Prairie Wind Trail; and
22        (3) lines extending from the boundary of the common
23    boundary of the real estate to the center line of the
24    Prairie Wind Trail.
25    (c) Upon receipt of notice, the Department shall determine



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1whether the adjacent owner has demonstrated ownership of the
2real estate with a common boundary to the Prairie Wind Trail
3and compliance with subsection (a) of this Section.
4    (d) If the adjacent owner demonstrates ownership of the
5real estate with a common boundary to the Prairie Wind Trail
6and compliance with subsection (a) of this Section, the
7Department shall notify the adjacent owner and schedule a real
8estate closing at a mutually agreeable time and place. The
9adjacent owner is responsible to pay all filing fees, taxes,
10and costs associated with closing the real estate transaction.
11    (e) If a person does not demonstrate ownership of the real
12estate with a common boundary to the Prairie Wind Trail or
13compliance with subsection (a) of this Section, the Department
14shall reject the request to transfer any portion of the Prairie
15Wind Trail to that person.
16    (f) If the Department receives a request to transfer any
17portion of the Prairie Wind Trail that is the subject of any
18pending action filed in any federal or State court, that
19requested portion of the Prairie Wind Trail may not be
20transferred by the Department until a final judgment is
21rendered in the pending action.
22    (g) In the case of 2 or more parties claiming ownership of
23all or the same adjacent property, the Department shall not
24transfer any property of the requested portion of the Prairie
25Wind Trail until an agreed-upon settlement between the
26conflicting parties is made or until a final judgment is made



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1in any action related to the adjacent property in a court of
2competent jurisdiction.
3    (h) Upon a final judgment in favor of the requesting party
4or dismissal of all lawsuits concerning real estate for which a
5transfer has been requested, the Department shall transfer that
6real estate, provided that it meets the other requirements of
7this Act.
8    Section 25. Time limitations. The Department shall begin
9accepting requests to transfer portions of the Prairie Wind
10Trail on the effective date of this Act. The Department shall
11not accept any request received more than 2 years after the
12effective date of this Act. During this time period, the
13Department shall hold a public hearing in the counties of
14Moultrie and Douglas regarding the transfer of portions of the
15Prairie Wind Trail. The hearing shall provide an opportunity
16for adjacent owners to petition the Department. Notice shall be
17given by public advertisement in a newspaper in general
18circulation in the Prairie Wind Trail area. The notice shall
19provide the date, time, and location of the public hearings and
20provide information regarding the transfer of real property.
21    Section 30. Review. Any determinations required by this Act
22and any actions to transfer real estate are within the sole
23discretion of the Department and are not subject to judicial or
24administrative review.



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1    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon
2becoming law.