Special Condemnation Hearing for the South St. Paving Project
January 8, 2015
South Hero Town Hall, Thursday 6:00 PM
Board Members Present: Chris Herrick, Carol Tremble, Skip Brown (also Board Secretary), Jonathan Shaw
Board Members Not Present: Anne Zolotas
Others Present: Mitchel Cypes, Administrative Assistant. Also see the sign in sheet.
Called to Order:
-The meeting was called to order by Chairman Chris Herrick at 6:00 pm and then turned over to the Town consulting engineer, Evan Detrick of Dubois and King, Inc.
- Evan Detrick explained the steps that have been taken by the Town since the necessity hearing on November 5, 2014 and the reason for this hearing. To date, 17 of the 22 landowners affected have signed the agreements. He explained the methodology for obtaining the values of the land and the difference between a temporary construction easement and permanent easement. Please see the Dubois and King, Inc. document attached the these minutes.
The 5 who have not signed are:
-Chris and Tammy Dubuque
-Mark and Jennifer Saxon
-Ethelyn and Everett Dubuque
-Kado and Lana Huante
- Testimony by Mark & Jennifer Dubuque Saxon and Ethelyn & Everett Dubuque was taken. The Saxon’s, and Everett Dubuque family stated that they are fine with the agreed upon land values. The Chris Dubuque family sent an email stating the same. Please see that email attached. The Felis and Huante families did not attend the hearing.
The reason that the Dubuque/Saxon families have not signed the agreements are as follows:
Since 2010 the Dubuque/Saxon families have stated the new designs will add more water to their lands. The engineers submitted at least 3 different plans to them to try to appease the situation. The Town spent over 2 years and many thousands of dollars to come to agreeable solution. In 2012 the Dubuque/Saxon families agreed in principle with the original wider shoulders, gradual swales and culvert storm water plans with modifications, including the elimination of one culvert. The engineers at CLD Engineering and Evan Detrick worked on the specifics and thought that all parties were in agreement. While the Dubuque/Saxon families claim to support the project, they have reneged, and again state without any professional opinion, that any work on the roadway will send more water onto their property. The engineers have stated many times that more water will not arrive on the property, only that it will arrive in a different path due to drainage changes. There is 1 new culvert in the plans, but there will also be wider and more gradual shoulders and swales to slow the flow and help to filter and absorb the water. Currently, the steep shoulders send water right to the property and any water that collects on the east side of the road seeps under the road and gets to the land eventually, anyway
C. Jonathan Shaw made motion to go into executive session to discuss legal matters at 7:00 pm. The motion was seconded all in attendance so voted and the motion carried. Executive session ended at 7:10 pm.
D. After exiting executive session, Jonathan Shaw made a motion to have the attorneys to try to come to an acceptable mutual language agreement to the Dubuque/Saxon families and to accept the values presented by VTrans. The motion was seconded all in attendance so voted and the motion carried.
E. Jonathan Shaw made a motion to agree with the value of the easements to the Felis and Huante families since they did not attend the hearing and did not oppose the land values, and to have the attorney draft a letter to that affect. The motion was seconded all in attendance so voted and the motion carried.
-Carol Tremble made a motion to adjourn 7:30 pm. The motion was seconded all in attendance so voted and the motion carried.
Respectfully submitted, Approved by,
Graham Brown Chris Herrick, Chair
South Hero – STP SHST (1)
South Street Improvement Project
January 8, 2015, 6:00 p.m.
A Necessity Hearing for the South Street Improvement Project was held on November 5, 2014. As a result of that Hearing, the SH Selectboard confirmed that the project was indeed necessary and in the best interest of the public.
The Condemnation Hearing is being held as part of the VTrans process to secure ROW clearance for the project.
Easements will be needed from a total of 22 owners that will be directly impacted by the project.
To date, 16 of the owners have signed Easement Agreements and turned them over to the Town. The other 6 owners have not yet signed their Agreements.
The purpose of the Hearing is to discuss the offers of compensation that have been made to the 6 owners that have not yet signed their Agreements, so that the Town SB can make a determination if the offers are appropriate.
For the Hearing tonight I will:
describe the general methodology that was used to arrive at the offers of compensation
describe VTrans’ involvement
describe the impacts and offers for each of the 6 owners
Following my presentation of information the 6 owners will be given an opportunity to speak on their behalf. After that, the Selectboard will make a decision within 30 days regarding the compensation amounts. Once they conclude on the offers of compensation, it will allow them to move forward with condemnation procedures if necessary to acquire the rights needed for the project.
General Methodology – the design engineers have determined the impacts resulting from the project, and determined what permanent and temporary rights are needed from each owner.
The rights for this project include temporary construction rights, temporary relocation rights, and permanent rights for the road, ditches, drainage and culverts.
Based on VTrans requirements, the value of the easements is computed as a ratio of the easement area to the total land of the parcel (so if the easement is 1/100th of the area, then 1/100th of the value of the land is the starting point). Land values were taken from the Town’s grand list.
Then adjustments are made to the computed values based on if the easements are permanent or temporary (100% for fee takings, 85% for permanent and 25% for temporary easements). Other temporary easements are assigned nominal values of $50, for relocation and driveway rights.
All values are added up and then rounded up to the next 25 dollars if necessary. However, the minimum offers are $250 for a temporary and $500 for a permanent easement.
VTrans applies these same factors and values to all State transportation projects when the value of the easements is less than $10,000. The values are initially determined by the Town, and then revised as appropriate by VTrans. All offers of compensation have been approved by VTrans.
Specific Impacts and Offers of Compensation –
Chris and Tammy Dubuque have a fee taking at the corner of Martin Road; a permanent culvert, ditch and drainage easement; and several temporary easements for construction purposes. Their offer is for $5,100.00
Kado and Lana Huante have a temporary easement to reconstruct their driveway. Their offer is for $250.00
Mark and Jennifer Saxon have 3 permanent culvert, ditch and drainage easements; and numerous temporary easements for construction purposes. Their offer is for $2,250.00
Tim and Lola Brisson have 2 permanent culvert, ditch and drainage easements; and several temporary easements for construction purposes. Their offer is for $1,200.00
Everett and Ethelyn Dubuque have a permanent culvert, ditch and drainage easement; and numerous temporary easements for construction purposes. Their offer is for $575.00
Kenneth Felis has 3 permanent culvert, ditch and drainage easements; and several temporary easements for construction purposes. His offer is for $1,300.00
Answer any questions from the SB, and then open the meeting to questions from the owners.