Washington Evening Journal
http://washington-ia.villagesoup.com/p/930272

Neighbors Growing Together | Apr 24, 2014

County to condemn property for road project

By Linda Wenger | Nov 27, 2012


A Washington County landowner will be going through a condemnation procedure so that the county can make improvements to a one-mile stretch of a gravel road.
The Washington County Board of Supervisors adopted a resolution and completed a service agreement with attorney James E. Graham to handle the condemnation process Tuesday morning during the supervisors’ weekly meeting.
County engineer Jacob Thorius spoke about the condemnation, which is necessary in order for the county to make improvements on 275th Street between Elm and Fir avenues. He said the section of road needs to be regraded. He has been working with four landowners, three of whom are in favor of the road improvements. He said the price of the land is not an issue for the fourth landowner, but the amount of land needed is. Thorius said he has reduced the right of way needed from the standard 100 feet down to 80 feet.
Thorius also said that county attorney Larry Brock doesn’t have time to handle the proceedings at this time. Graham handled condemnation proceedings for the county in the past.
An additional $10,000 to $15,000 will be added to the cost of the project because of the condemnation process.
Supervisor Jim Miksch asked Thorius how much gravel the $10,000 to $15,000 could buy. Thorius said it would pay for three miles’ worth of gravel.
The supervisors also approved a motion to allow the City of Washington to extend a tax increment financing district for five years. City administrator Brent Hinson and Mayor Sandra Johnson appeared before the board about the matter.
Hinson said the extension would allow the city to recoup approximately $128,000 in expenses for the Highland Park East Urban Renewal Area. The subdivision had 34 lots available for houses. The city installed streets and water and sewer infrastructure. He said 10 to 12 lots are empty.
Hinson said the city will gain back its expenses in a little more than three years.
In other business, the supervisors received the annual Workplace Learning Connection report from director Mary Lou Erlacher. The program provides career education for students in Washington County.

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