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Property owners get original appraised value for land at Burns Bottom


Garthia Elena Burnett



After Lowndes County took a total of less than two acres of property in the Burns Bottom area through eminent domain, two property owners returned to the table, requesting the original appraised value rather than the court''s appraised value. 


Friday morning, the Lowndes County Board of Supervisors voted to pay Thomas Doughty and Mary Wright $2,000 and $2,500 for their land, respectively, rather than court appraised values of $1,200 and $2,300, respectively. 


The city of Columbus, Lowndes County and the Columbus-Lowndes Recreation Authority have begun work on a $4.26 million soccer complex in the Burns Bottom area, just west of downtown. Supervisors took the matter to county court when the owners of five parcels of land either refused to sell or it could not be determined who all owned the land, since the original landowner was deceased. 


Other property owners involved in the eminent domain case were John Staples (the court appraised the property at $675; the initial appraisal was for $1,000); the V and S Petersons Trust (the court appraised the property at $2,000; the initial appraisal was for $2,500); and Renata Jennings (the court appraised the property at $2,000, the same as the initial appraisal.) 


The remaining property owners can petition to be paid the initial appraised value. Otherwise, they will be paid the court''s appraised value, out of fees already paid by Lowndes County. 


The fields, which are currently being cleared by city and county crews, may have grass by July and should be ready for soccer in September. 


Sidewalks and bridges will follow shortly. 


In other matters, the board



    Approved a litter-control grant in the amount of $14,852. The grant funds the litter control officer, who monitors illegal dumping and either finds the dumper to clean it up or reports is to the county for cleanup. 


    Approved a $48,693 Victims of Violent Crime Act grant to fund the district attorney''s victim assistance program. 


    Appointed Chris Griffin, owner of Southern Civil Contracting, to the E-911 board for a four-year term beginning May 15. Griffin spent six years with the Lowndes County Sheriff''s Office and 13 years as a town marshal in Caledonia. 


    Heard from a Ridge Road resident about flooding problems. Ray Berry requested a ditch be dug and the addition of oversized culverts to relieve the problem since his property is "serving as a holding pond for everyone else." District 2 Supervisor Frank Ferguson made note of a project started in the area that was held up when one family would not permit the county to dig through its land. Ferguson offered to start the process again and solicit the approval from the family. 


    Authorized county workers to explore options for relieving drainage problems in the Deerfield subdivision off Lehmberg Road and surrounding areas. 


    Approved a budget modification for a project at Stark Aerospace. The county had $184,593 left over in grant money from projects at the site and now plans to use the money for a drainage project there.






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Reader Comments

Article Comment zenreaper commented at 5/15/2011 7:46:00 AM:

Got to love it, they want to pay MORE for property they want (the furnished building) then pay LESS for property from landowners when they TAKE the land. One of the greatest freedoms we have in this country is the ability to OWN LAND, and that right gets usurped, NOT for a freeway, not for a hospital, not for a fire station, but for a SOCCER FIELD. Its pathetic.


Article Comment jinxs commented at 5/15/2011 9:03:00 PM:

That soccer field will be like the riverwalk-can Columbus afford cameras there too? Many soccer players will be there without supervision-more trouble for business owners in downtown.How many times have vandals tore up Propst Park?What about when the river floods? Everyone wants a better town and better place for the kids but it will never happen in Columbus, Ms.


Article Comment columbus concerned commented at 5/17/2011 12:44:00 PM:

I could not agree more with Zen Reaper. The Columbus Dispatch used its editorial and reporting to support a clear waste of tax payer's dollars when they did not investigate the process of how the CVB came to buy something for more than it appraised in value, and than sought to justify this waste by ordering a new appraisal. All the Columbus Dispatch did was write articles in support of this waste of money, because the Imes are friends with the operators of the CVB. The CVB lacks any credibility and the Columbus Dispatch has joined them. No one cares when you attack police officers for having accidents, because we know you don't have credibility.


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