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Council approves property condemnations
Actions will allow for water/sewer work, construction easements
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The Richmond Hill City Council will move forward with various construction projects and water/sewer improvements after unanimously approving several property condemnations at its regular meeting Jan. 17.

The first condemnation by the council was of a small piece of property behind the McDonald’s on Highway 17. The land will be used as a temporary construction easement for one year, according to city attorney Ray Smith.

“It is necessary in the opinion of the engineer to have this area for parking of the construction equipment,” he said.

Smith said he was unsuccessful in reaching anyone in McDonald’s corporate office and therefore the property had to be condemned.

The council also approved the condemnation of some property in Mainstreet subdivision, where city pump stations are located. Smith told the council when the subdivision was built, the pump station was given to the city by the developer.

Unfortunately, the pump stations were “slightly misplaced,” Smith said, so the city needed to condemn the property where the stations are located to complete the upgrades.

This prompted the council’s approval of a condemnation action for a perpetual utility easement for sewer and other utility purposes at the Mainstreet pump station on Harris Trail Road.

Smith also said the homeowners association for Mainstreet welcomed the condemnations for improvements to the pump stations and referred to it as a “friendly condemnation.”

The final condemnation was for a 25-foot-wide utility easement that goes from Elbow Swamp Road over to the city’s wastewater treatment plant.

“Under the new sewer setup that has been engineered for the city, this stops us from taking sewage … around the loop and shoots it straight in,” Smith said.

Smith said there have been conversations with the owner of the property, CRM Inc., who said the city can have the property.

“We’ve had a number of conversations with them where they have said, ‘We’ll take the money, you can have it,’ but nobody comes to get the money. So, resultingly, I need to condemn it,” Smith said.

Read more in the Jan. 25 edition of the News.

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