published: Wednesday, September 05, 2012
County balks at property price
By CHRISTOPHER TUFFLEY
SEBRING -- Frustrated by more than a year of negotiations over buying a tiny parcel of property for Part II of the Sebring Parkway, members of the County Commission unanimously decided on Tuesday to do without it.
They were even more upset about the price the seller was asking.
The roughly 3,000 square feet of space is needed to widen a portion of the Parkway between Youth Care Lane and White's Transmission. The widening will create room for a multi-use path.
The .075 acres of property would cost the county $129,554, however, and commissioners balked at the price.
Part of that cost, county attorney Ross Macbeth told the commission, was to compensate the seller for negative impacts as result of losing the property by paying for agreed upon improvements.
Condemning the property would cost the county only slightly less, MacBeth said. For one thing, a new appraisal would have to be done. In addition, the process involves presentation to a jury.
In hard economic times, Commissioner Barbara Stewart said, the county simply can't afford niceties like multi-use paths. Those are kind of things that can be added later, she said.
In any case, she said, "I don't see why we need this property, we have plenty of room."
She said some simple changes in the road design would eliminate the need for widening the highway. One change Stewart asked for would be a improvement, she said: Getting rid of the proposed continuous turn lane, which she called a suicide lane.
Each commissioner expressed disappointment in the sellers -- three properties are involved -- for what they said was taking advantage of the taxpayer.
Commission Chairman Jack Retch was plainly furious.
"This has gotten ridiculous," he said. "I really meant it. I'd just wall 'em in and go around them. It's what they deserve."
The commission concurred. The highway plans were sent back to the county engineer to be adapted to the present space.
Jack the old goat (by: Shakin my head - 9/6/2012)
What a joke! next commisioners meeting should be held a the Palms of Sebring.
property (by: Blindman - 9/6/2012)
Yea, a jury might side with the seller. LOL
WALL THEM IN! (by: sebring_resident - 9/6/2012)
WOW.....such harsh statements from the commission chairman, WOW!
Private business owners (by: T. Par-tea - 9/5/2012)
Is this what they mean when they say that they should be nice to private business owners? "Wall 'em in!" "Let them eat cake!" "We need breathing room". All good quotes by dictators.
Thank you commission... (by: D.J. Steward - 9/5/2012)
I 100% agree with your decision. Totally removing any negotiations and working around the section of land is the correct decision for the tax payers of this county. Shame on the lot owners for trying to fleece the citizens of this county and you (the lot owners) are getting exactly what you deserve, NOTHING.
Suicide Lane? (by: SebringBob - 9/5/2012)
Does the Commissioner have any idea how many of these so-called suicide lanes have been installed throughout the USA? What evidence does she have that people are committing suicide by using them? If they are that bad madam, why did they get installed in the first place?
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