At the beginning of this project, the County Commissioners reportedly expressed support for the Salt Creek Trail project that included the stipulation that eminent domain would not be used to acquire the land. However, once the State got involved, the commissioners no longer have the power to prevent eminent domain.
Oct 23-Nov 2018 Brown County Matters – Facebook Posts on the Topic
Oct 25, 2018. BCD Facebook Posts – Partial Salt Creek Trail Access
Recently, a landowner who was originally offered $7,500 for .259 acres by the State, settled for $175, 920.52. The money for land acquisitions is provided by federal and state taxpayers via “grants.” Commissioner Biddle’s decision to accept “free” and massive Highway Bridges for use as a pedestrian trail contributed to the high acquisition costs of the affected properties.
Oct 23, 2018. Partial Salt Creek Trail access acquired for $481K By Sara Sara Clifford, BCD
- Olivers. The Olivers agreed to a sum of $175,920.52, with $35,793.02 of that for land and improvements and $139,127.50 for damages. They signed a warranty deed, which makes INDOT the new owner of 0.259 acres of their property.
- RedBarn Jamboree. Watson, owner of the RedBarn Jamboree property along State Road 46 East near Parkview Road, received $2,950 for a temporary easement across 0.143 acres of her land. …. She also received $297,050 for a perpetual easement, with $158,025 for the value of the land and $139,025 for “damages,” according to documents filed with the recorder’s office. That was for a total of 0.461 acres.
- Brown County Democrat – Facebook Post and Comments
Oct 19, 2018. Salt Creek Trail negotiations continue By Sara Clifford –The Indiana Department of Transportation has offered Brown County Schools $13,700 for an easement that would allow the placement of two bridges on either end of Eagle Park as part of the Salt Creek Trail.
- Note: The Olivers stated that were not notified that their property was needed for the Salt Creek Trail. Further, they were not contacted regarding the placement and size of the Highway Bridge. The State concluded the Bridge damaged their property values – thus the higher settlement amount.
Sep 20, 2017. Channel 13, WTHR Brown County couple fights eminent domain. Let’s say you bought a 2.5-acre property in Brown County and restored the home only to find out the state and the county are exploring the use of eminent domain to take part of it. You wouldn’t be happy … Gary and Sheila Oliver have decided to fight it.
The Olivers story was picked up by the Associated Press and shared throughout the county:
- Sep 18, 2017. The Seattle Times Indiana man, wife fight land seizure for bridge, trail The state Transportation Department offered the couple $7,800 for their land three months ago. The Olivers said they aren’t interested in selling and are fighting the proposed use of eminent domain to acquire their land.
- They weren’t even sure where it might go until about a month ago, when the stakes appeared in the lawn.
- Planning for the Salt Creek Trail began in 2002 with a committee of volunteers, a mix of public officials and private individuals.