Public Act 099-0398
Public Act 0398 99TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY
|Public Act 099-0398
|LRB099 07543 MGM 27666 b
AN ACT concerning the Prairie Wind Trail.
Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
represented in the General Assembly:
This Act may be cited as the
Prairie Wind Trail Property Transfer Act.
Between the years of 1991
and 2002, the Department of Natural Resources expended $408,085
to acquire 281.502 acres of real property, in the counties of
Coles, Douglas and Moultrie, with the intention of constructing
a recreational trail for use by the general public. The
intended recreational trail was not constructed because the
Department of Natural Resources was not able to acquire a
contiguous linear parcel of real property sufficient to
construct an uninterrupted recreational trail.
Between the years of 1995 and 2011, the Department of
Natural Resources transferred 47.777 acres of real property to
several private and public entities. These transfers were
completed in accordance with Public Acts 88-369, 89-29, 89-223,
90-760, 91-824, and 96-316.
Between 1991 and 2013, the Department of Natural Resources
expended $207,425.89 in legal defense expenses associated with
the process of acquiring and holding title to the real property
constituting the planned Prairie Wind Trail. (See Hemingway v.
American Premium Underwriters, Inc., 97-MR-5, Sixth Circuit,
Douglas County, Illinois and Ag Farms, Inc. v. American Premium
Underwriters, Inc., 2002-MR-6, Sixth Circuit, Moultrie County,
The General Assembly finds that transferring the real
property known as the Prairie Wind Trail to adjacent owners is
a public benefit to avoid further expenditure of legal defense
As used in this Act:
"Adjacent owner" means an owner of real property with a
common boundary to parcels comprising the planned Prairie Wind
Trail owned by the Department of Natural Resources.
"Department" means the Department of Natural Resources of
the State of Illinois.
"Prairie Wind Trail" means real property in the counties of
Coles, Douglas and Moultrie that is owned by the Department of
Natural Resources and was acquired between the years of 1991
and 2002 with the intention of constructing a recreational
trail for use by the general public.
Authority to convey real estate.
may transfer and convey all or part of the real estate acquired
for the Prairie Wind Trail as provided in this Act. In order to
facilitate the transfers authorized by this Act, the Secretary
of State shall establish a repository for the deeds, surveys,
and related materials for each parcel within the Secretary of
State Index Department.
(a) Notwithstanding any provision of the State Property
Control Act, an adjacent owner may request the transfer of a
limited portion of the Prairie Wind Trail in accordance with
this Act. If an adjacent owner desires transfer of a portion of
the Prairie Wind Trail, the adjacent owner shall provide notice
to the Department, accompanied by the following:
(1) a title search proving ownership or a certified
copy of the recorded deed for the adjacent real property;
(2) a copy of the most recent real property tax
assessment for the adjacent real property; and
(3) a notarized affidavit executed by the owner of the
adjacent real property affirming current ownership of the
adjacent real property.
(b) The real estate transferred to an adjacent owner
pursuant to this Act may not extend beyond an area encompassed
(1) the common property boundary;
(2) the center line of the Prairie Wind Trail; and
(3) lines extending from the boundary of the common
boundary of the real estate to the center line of the
Prairie Wind Trail.
(c) Upon receipt of notice, the Department shall determine
whether the adjacent owner has demonstrated ownership of the
real estate with a common boundary to the Prairie Wind Trail
and compliance with subsection (a) of this Section.
(d) If the adjacent owner demonstrates ownership of the
real estate with a common boundary to the Prairie Wind Trail
and compliance with subsection (a) of this Section, the
Department shall notify the adjacent owner and schedule a real
estate closing at a mutually agreeable time and place. The
adjacent owner is responsible to pay all filing fees, taxes,
and costs associated with closing the real estate transaction.
(e) If a person does not demonstrate ownership of the real
estate with a common boundary to the Prairie Wind Trail or
compliance with subsection (a) of this Section, the Department
shall reject the request to transfer any portion of the Prairie
Wind Trail to that person.
(f) If the Department receives a request to transfer any
portion of the Prairie Wind Trail that is the subject of any
pending action filed in any federal or State court, that
requested portion of the Prairie Wind Trail may not be
transferred by the Department until a final judgment is
rendered in the pending action.
(g) In the case of 2 or more parties claiming ownership of
all or the same adjacent property, the Department shall not
transfer any property of the requested portion of the Prairie
Wind Trail until an agreed-upon settlement between the
conflicting parties is made or until a final judgment is made
in any action related to the adjacent property in a court of
(h) Upon a final judgment in favor of the requesting party
or dismissal of all lawsuits concerning real estate for which a
transfer has been requested, the Department shall transfer that
real estate, provided that it meets the other requirements of
The Department shall begin
accepting requests to transfer portions of the Prairie Wind
Trail on the effective date of this Act. The Department shall
not accept any request received more than 2 years after the
effective date of this Act. During this time period, the
Department shall hold a public hearing in the counties of
Moultrie and Douglas regarding the transfer of portions of the
Prairie Wind Trail. The hearing shall provide an opportunity
for adjacent owners to petition the Department. Notice shall be
given by public advertisement in a newspaper in general
circulation in the Prairie Wind Trail area. The notice shall
provide the date, time, and location of the public hearings and
provide information regarding the transfer of real property.
Any determinations required by this Act
and any actions to transfer real estate are within the sole
discretion of the Department and are not subject to judicial or
This Act takes effect upon
Effective Date: 8/18/2015