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Leesville officials ask court to establish compensation in eminent domain case 

FPS staff report

The village of Leesville has filed a petition in Carroll County Common Pleas Court to acquire real estate by eminent domain to construct a sanitary sewer system.

The petition was filed in Carroll County Common Pleas Court against Joe Nign of 8141 Deacon Rd. SW, Bowerston, whom, with his wife, Catherine, own three parcels of land containing approximately 21.43 acres near the village limits. The village would like to purchase between one and two acres to construct a sanitary sewer system collection and processing plant and another acre for an easement.

Leesville Solicitor Jason Jackson said the village is entitled to the land because it is for public use, but the question of compensation is what the village is asking the court to decide.

“We checked property values in the Carroll County Auditors office and feel fair market value is about $1,000 per acre for the easement and $2,000 per acre for the land,” he said. “We actually only need about one acre to build the plant.”

“I have not spoken with the property owner,” he continued. “Because of the federal grants involved and stipulations that go along with them, the village is not permitted to negotiate a price with the landowner.”

With this in mind, the village is asking the court for a hearing to determine a fair amount of compensation to the property owners along with costs of court action and attorney fees.

According to the petition, filed April 30, the appropriate placement of the plant would be on a portion of land, located on the north side of SR 212, just west of the village of Leesville.

“There is an existing path or roadway that is already in use that we would like to obtain an easement over and improve,” he said.

“We would also like another underground easement to run pipe. We would not disturb the surface land.”

Jackson said the Nign property is one of two sites deemed suitable for the construction of the sewer plant. However, the other site would involve relocating wetlands, which is too costly to justify. “This is the most efficient site,” Jackson said.

The petition is accompanied by a motion to permit surveying filed by the village’s Solicitor Jason L. Jackson.

A pre-trial hearing on the petition and motion has been set for June 17 before Carroll County Common Pleas Court Judge Dominick E. Olivito Jr.

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Leesville officials ask court to establish compensation in eminent domain case