Old Drum

Commentary on Warrensburg, Johnson County and Missouri issues from a Libertarian perspective. View my earlier commentary at www.olddrum.net.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Highway 13 Bypass - Eminent Domain coming?

It seems that the Warrensburg area will soon have its own eminent domain crisis. The Missouri Department of Transportation had a "public informational meeting" last evening at the community center. DoT representatives, City staff and our local 121st Dist. State Rep were there, as were worried citizens with property along the proposed route.

The first phase of the project will run a rather useless bypass from US-50 to DD hiway well to the east of Warrensburg. To make this bypass usable for trucks, it will include "improvements" to DD. These "improvement" will likely have a significant affect on those who own property near the junction of DD & MO-13. We won't know what will be planned or who will be affected until they present the preliminary design next spring.

With the number of properties involved, it's fairly certain that at least a few owners will be unwilling to sell at the price offered by the state. The state will then condemn the property and let the courts sort out the price. While the government has the right to take the property, the laws governing compensation provided are skewed against the owner. The government normally has to pay only "fair market value" which does not include emotional value of a historic family home. Neither does it include the future plans for a property held to provide retirement income.

While Warrensburg's serious traffic problems need attention, it will be a long time before the bypass provides any real benefit. Meanwhile, expect dislocation of people and disruption of property. So push for eminent domain reform.

In Liberty


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