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County to spend $314,900 for home to widen road

August 25, 2009|By HEATHER KEELS

WASHINGTON COUNTY -- The Washington County Commissioners agreed Tuesday to pay as much as $314,900 to buy a home needed for the widening of Longmeadow Road near its intersection with Marsh Pike.

The county reached the agreement after more than a year of working with the family that owns the house at 19329 Longmeadow Road, Real Property Administrator Joe Kuhna said.

The house is one of three that will need to be torn down for the widening project, Kuhna said. The other two, on either side of the remaining house, were purchased by the county last year, he said.

The $314,900 price reflects the home's assessed value of $280,000, plus replacement housing and relocation assistance for the family, Kuhna said.

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The county offered the owners the option of moving to other comparable properties in the area, but they opted instead to build a new house on their remaining land, Kuhna said.

The family will need to be out of their home by the time the project reaches the construction phase, which could be as early as late spring 2010, he said.

The project is about 30 percent of the way through its design phase, Deputy Director of Public Works Robert J. Slocum said.

The project is designed to improve the capacity of the intersection of Longmeadow Road and Marsh Pike, according to the county's capital improvement plan. It includes the construction of additional turning lanes on both roads, changes to the traffic signal and the addition of sidewalks to accommodate pedestrians in and around Paramount Elementary School, the plan says.

The project is budgeted to cost about $4.1 million, including about $1 million for land acquisition, according to the capital improvement plan.

When the family builds its new house, the county will not assess any excise tax unless the house is larger than the current house, Kuhna said. In addition, the family will not pay any extra tap fees, he said.

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