City of Murphysboro filing lawsuit against Union Pacific Railroad

Murphysboro in legal battle with railroad
Updated: Apr. 13, 2018 at 6:25 PM CDT
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MURPHYSBORO, IL (KFVS) - The city of Murphysboro has filed a lawsuit against Union Pacific Railroad over a property line dispute on North 23rd Street. This comes after residents have been told they could not sell their property on the street because Union Pacific allegedly owns part of the property.

Amanda Tuttle says she and her husband were planning on moving out of their Murphysboro home but found out they were unable because Union Pacific claims they own the route to get to their house, N 23rd Street.

She says Union Pacific sent them a lease for just under $90 a month when they first tried to sell, so they reached out to Murphysboro Mayor Will Stephens for help.

Mayor Stephens says the city should have ownership over the road because records show the city has taken care of the road for at least 40 years.

Union Pacific's media relations director for Illinois operations, Kristin South says Union Pacific has paid state and county taxes since October of 2017 but has owned the road since at least 1955.

She says Union Pacific has records that a lease was formed with the prior owners of the property where the Tuttle's house is located in the years between 1955 and 2004. She said the prior owners were with Hines Oil Company.

Paul Hines says he has no record or knowledge of this lease, and the only person who might is his elderly father who was running the company during the time of the alleged lease.

Hines Oil is a party in the larger suit the city of Murphysboro is representing the Tuttle's in, along with several other property owners on N 23rd street.

As of now, the lawsuit has been filed with the Jackson County Courthouse and is awaiting further action.

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