Eminent domain property settlements for interchange still underway

Avon

By Rebecca Turman

While construction on the I-90 interchange at Nagel Road is well under way, the city has yet to reach a settlement with several property owners for land that will be used to build it.

Over a year ago, Avon City Council passed several resolutions declaring the necessity to appropriate land needed to construct the interchange.

Earlier this month, City Council members approved a reappropriation, which included advancing $750,000 to the Interchange Project Fund 456 “for anticipated land acquisition settlements, legal expenses and other expenses not payable through the ODOT Interchange account.”

“We hope we don’t have to spend all of that $750,000,” Avon Finance Director Bill Logan said in a recent interview.

Five property acquisitions have yet to be settled in court, according to Avon Law Director John Gasior. Those acquisitions are in the chart below.

Initially, the total projected cost of acquiring 30 pieces of property to build the new interchange was $6.1 million. So far, the cost has reached $6.25 million. That number includes the city’s offers on the acquisitions that have yet to be settled.

“We have deposited the amount the city has proposed (with the Probate Court),” Logan said.

“The court deals with each piece of property separately,” Gasior said.

“I think the remaining properties – the five – are going to be slow in settling.”

Gasior noted that the DiBenedetto and Root properties aren’t even scheduled for trial until March.

“The demands from the parties were too far apart to really sit down and say we’ll be able to settle that in a matter of months,” he said.

A deal hasn’t been set for Drug Mart either, according to Gasior.

“What the court believes is once DiBenedetto settles or goes to trial, the Drug Mart case will settle because they are almost identical properties,” Gasior said, noting the properties are on opposing sides of Nagel Road.

Regardless of what the city will end up paying once the cases are settled in court, the city of Avon technically owns the property.

Last year, Gasior stated that once the city has filed a check for the properties with the court, the city can “treat the property as if it is ours.”

Since it has been determined that the interchange is needed for the public good, it is within the scope of eminent domain power.

Contact Rebecca Turman at rturman@2presspapers.com

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