The executive director of the Starke County Economic Development Foundation gave the county commissioners an update on the County Road 300 East project this week, and informed them that eminent domain action will no longer be necessary to complete the project. Charles Weaver recommended that the commissioners agree to an administrative settlement for a parcel of land owned by a woman that is necessary to be purchased in order to allow the project to continue.
The woman is asking the county to increase the purchase price for the parcel of land by $500; $250 of that increase is for the acreage, while the remainder is for the value of a tree that the county would be taking, bringing the total purchase price to $10,000. Weaver explained the purchase would include .644 acres on one side of the property as well as .881 acres catty-corner, as well as a temporary right of way of .02 acres.
County Attorney Martin Lucas said this would still be cheaper than to proceed with eminent domain, and it would keep the county out of court and prevent a delay in the project.
Weaver explained that this project will widen the road from the railroad crossing in the industrial park to Culver Road, while rebuilding the intersections at Pacific Avenue and Culver Road, bringing them up to the state standards for line of sight.