WASHINGTON COUNTY -- After balking at the prices for easements for an intersection project near Valley Mall last week, the Washington County Commissioners voted 4-1 Tuesday to approve the easement acquisitions.
The vote will allow county staff to move forward with the purchase of $216,100 worth of temporary and permanent easements from the owners of Valley Mall and Valley Plaza Shopping Center. The easements are needed for a project to widen the intersection of Halfway and Massey boulevards, Deputy Director of Public Works Robert J. Slocum said.
The vote came after Slocum stressed that following guidelines for property acquisition is essential to retaining the state and federal grants for the project and Real Property Administrator Joe Kuhna told the commissioners that the owners of Valley Mall had already made "sizable donations" of right-of-way land for previous projects.
At last week's meeting, Commissioner William J. Wivell said the easement prices seemed too high, considering the intersection improvements will improve access to the mall and the shopping center. At that meeting, a motion to approve the easements died when none of the other commissioners spoke up to second it.