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October 24, 2014, 3:35 pm
970 WMAY News

Ombudsman Named To Mediate Property Acquisition Along 10th Street Tracks

A retired judge has been asked to take on the role of ombudsman... to ensure fairness and equity in the process of acquiring property to make way for Springfield's railroad relocation process.


Theodis Lewis says there will be very specific and precise procedures he will have to follow as he aims to help mediate any disagreement between what IDOT will offer for properties, and what the property owners hope to receive for their homes or businesses.


His appointment comes amid warnings from east-side activists that real estate speculators will try to exploit homeowners along the tracks and grab their property for a fraction of what it is worth.  Lewis recommends that no one sign agreements to sell just yet, until he has a chance to get up to speed and start reviewing proposals.

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