Full Effect Of Great Lakes Basin Railroad On Agricultural Property Values Not Yet Known
Opposition to the Great Lakes Basin Railroad Project is growing in Winnebago County, but its true effect on property value may not be known for a while.
The 260-mile line would cross through Winnebago County on its way between Wisconsin and Indiana, bypassing congested Chicago freight yards. Various property owners have raised opposition to the project -- particularly farm owners. Illinois Certified Appraiser Charles Davidson says that’s due to the railroad’s potential effect on property value and function.
“If you’re going to purchase farmland, if you’ve got a rail line going through it, that can seriously affect the efficiency of the farmland itself."
At the same time, he says the numbers aren't likely to change immediately.
“A lot of times, people just aren’t aware of what’s going on until they actually purchase the property. We don’t really see too much influence of a project generally, prior to the actual laying out of the line and sending out the appraisers and engineers to do the work.”
Great Lakes Basin Transportation Incorporated already has held town hall meetings about the project, usually packed by protestors. Documents filed in Boone County suggest it won’t send appraisers out until they get further along in the approval process with the Surface Transportation Board.