• August 28, 2014

Heights council authorizes power of eminent domain to acquire property

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Posted: Wednesday, April 24, 2013 4:30 am

HARKER HEIGHTS — The City Council on Tuesday authorized the use of the power of eminent domain to acquire a 15-foot wastewater line easement and temporary construction easement on a 0.117-acre tract of land owned by Steve and Roena Mae Costa.

The city is in the process of extending its wastewater system on Farm-to-Market 2410 to serve the anticipated population growth in Harker Heights. Mark Hyde, public works director, said he has negotiated with the Costas about using their property, located at Farm-to-Market 2410 and Rummel Road, as it is the most logical adjacent location for the facilities.

“The owner really just doesn’t like the idea of giving the easement for the sewer line,” he said. “So we’ve been negotiating and the city had a company do a property appraisal to get a value of the easement in question.”

The fair market value of the property, estimated at no more than $4,205, was presented to the Costas for consideration, Hyde said. As of Tuesday, the Costas had not accepted the proposal.

“To avoid unnecessary delay, we requested approval from the council to initiate formal condemnation procedures in the event negotiations are not successful,” Hyde said.

City Attorney Burk Roberts said two days remained until the deadline the city gave the property owners to respond.

“They have been talking to us as recent as (Tuesday) afternoon, and this holds up the project timeline if we don’t do this,” he said, referring to the power of eminent domain.

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