Old Drum

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

Friday, December 30, 2005

Hawthorne and sewer bonds - what's next?

I learned a few things in a casual conversation with a rural landowner today. It seems that the Hawthorne developers were interested in buying a small Baptist church bordering the commercial area of their development. They made a low-ball offer with a short 7-day fuse, keeping a unilateral option to withdraw the offer even if it were accepted; the church would have to vacate in 75 days if they sold. Now, some church members are wondering if the offer was really intended to be unacceptable to lay the groundwork for a future condemnation following the Supreme Court's Kelo decision.

How does the sewer bond fit in? Sewer lines will allow the City to expand its city limits. The landowner saw a plan to extend the limits well to the northeast; he'd heard that the City really wants to expand all the way to the Blackwater several miles east of MO-13. Now, a lot of the people out there are real, serious farmers who might prefer farming to development. They're worried about being stuck with something that happened a few years ago over in Clay County, where a landowner was assessed for the cost of sewer lines extended across his property. That landowner was forced to sell because that was the only way to pay the assessment.

I know a lot of us will be watching to see if our State Legislators will really restrict the misuse of eminent domain; I have my doubts. But they need to do more than that. They need to protect us from misuse of Tax Increment Financing, TDDs, tax credits, taking by assessment and other abuses of private property.

In Liberty


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