The road project has been on the city’s to-do list for years to eliminate a traffic bottleneck at a single-lane tunnel, and all the properties for the right-of-way have been acquired save for the two, one for which the owner is asking 16 times the appraised value and the other which the owner and commercial tenant can’t agree on selling.
Since the city and the interested parties can’t come to an agreement, the commissioners started the condemnation process, otherwise known as eminent domain.
Once a condemnation action is filed, a court will determine a reasonable amount of compensation, the city will pay it to the landowners, the city will take possession of the land and the project will proceed.
The process is somewhat controversial, after all, it permits a government to acquire land against the will of the owners and tenants of property, but it also protects taxpayers from being gouged when owners are demanding an inordinate price and holding up projects to benefit the public good.
That’s why we want to hear from you. Should Johnson City use eminent domain to get the Knob Creek project moving?
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