Putnam County Headed to Mediation
Wednesday, June, 13, 2018
A judge has approved the mediation request in the Road 5 lawsuit in Putnam County. It was the property owners impacted by the project that requested mediation.
The dispute began in 2012 when Putnam County Commissioners started a road widening project. Their intention was to widen Road 5 by 10 feet on each side. The project was prompted by the numerous accidents caused by dangerous road conditions in the area.
Because homes in the area were affected by the project, the commissioners used eminent domain to take the property and move residents out of their homes. Homeowners were offered a total of $64,000, but chose not to accept the offer.
In the June 2017 complaint filed by the homeowners, the commissioners did not have the right to take their property through eminent domain because there was no unanimous vote at the beginning of the project.
Following the attempts to take the homeowner’s properties, there was a six year dispute over the matter. Just recently a judge approved the request for mediation filed by the homeowners.
The first mediation session is set to take place July 10 and 11th beginning at 9:30 am at the Putnam County Courthouse Assembly Room. The judge has ordered the mediation be completed by July 30th. It will be overseen by retired Judge Peter Handwork who will be paid $200 per hour plus expenses. Putnam County Commissioners are responsible for paying the fee, which will most likely be passed onto tax payers.
Those involved are skeptical mediation will resolve the dispute, but hope remains in the community.