The city of Sherman has hit a few setbacks when it comes to a roadway extension project and so the city is considering using its power of eminent domain to move forward amid stalling negotiations.
The City Council agreed Tuesday to authorize City Manager Robby Hefton to “take all steps necessary” to acquire land for the extension of Fallon Drive. The city has had difficulty in negotiating with a property owner for the final piece of land needed for the project.
“The issue is that the land is owned by a corporation that has no incentive to negotiate,” Sherman Community and Support Services Manager Nate Strauch said regarding the vacant land. “This will help keep the project on track and ensure they will play ball.”
The city has had difficulty getting a response to requests to purchase land for the project from Cooper B-Line, also known as Eaton, Strauch said. Eaton Communications Manager Katy Brasser said the company has been in contact with the city, but no additional details about the negotiations or comments would be released at this time.
The need to extend East Fallon Drive, and the creation of Midway Drive, came from new industrial development in the area. When completed, the roadway will extend east before turning south toward Dripping Springs Road.
Modular Power Solutions was outgrowing their current facility and had started development of a new facility adjacent to the current building, Sherman Economic Development Corp. President Kent Sharp said.
In order to build the roadway extension, the city needed to acquire three pieces of land from two land owners totalling about 5.5 acres. However, the city ran into difficulties in acquiring the final piece, which Strauch described as “a few-hundred feet of land” valued at about $15,000 at the place the road would turn south.
“It does not appear their corporate offices plan to negotiate over a small piece of land,” Strauch said, noting that local representatives for the company have expressed no issues with the project.
Following Tuesday’s action, Strauch said the city would form a committee to discuss the options moving forward after about 14 days. Under the terms of the resolution, the city manager will have the ability to appoint an appraiser and establish just compensation for the property. However Strauch could not rule out the city using its power of eminent domain to acquire the property.
Despite the dispute over the right of way, Strauch said the city still is hopeful that it will be able to move forward with the project on time. Crews are expected to start work on the road construction in October, with a completion date some time in early 2020.