2nd reading on domain ordinance heard Monday

Benton City Council met in a special session Monday night to hear the second of three required readings of an eminent domain ordinance related to an Alcoa Road expansion project.

The third and final reading is scheduled for the council's regular meeting on June 23.

City Attorney Brent Houston previously informed the council that an additional six tracts are needed for rights of way for the proposed reconstruction project, bringing the total to 15 properties.

If a right of way is needed for the project, the city is required to offer the owner the fair market value of the portion of the land required. If the owner rejects the offer, the city can seize the property under eminent domain. However, the city must have an ordinance in place prior to June 30 in order to use eminent domain as part of the process.

A settlement with individual property owners and/or an eminent domain ordinance must be in place before the end of the month deadline set by Metroplan or federal funding designated for the project may be lost. Federal funding is expected to pay for 80 percent of the project cost.

Houston told the council that acquiring the additional properties puts additional pressure on the city to complete the process by the end of the month.