Update on the Boundary Encroachment
A while ago, I posted about how the local air-board had encroached significantly on my property and we were trying to work it out amenably… Well, that ended…..
The last I reported, they had agreed they were in the wrong and wanted to make it right…. They were going to be discussing it with the DNR to see about moving the trees off me. Well, the end of February I got a call from the President of the Air Board and he informed me that they had heard back from the DNR and they would NOT allow a change to the original scope of the project so they would not allow the trees to be moved off me out of the drainage flow easement (Has anybody heard of the trees being allowed to be planted in the flow way/drainage easement as an improvement to drainage?)or they would have to start the whole project over.
What was unsaid, since this was for wetlands mitigation and LOTS of FEDERAL FUNDS are involved, they didn’t have time to redo the mitigation and receive the FEDERAL funds…. so I am going to have to let them HAVE the property. He proceeded to tell me they had prepared a couple of options for me to consider. He’d send them to me by e-mail… He told me that they had a meeting in two nights and they’d like my answer to discuss at the meeting. He further informed me that they got a new attorney and that he would be talking to him about the situation. It looks like they are going to sue the Engineering firm that created the mess. I ask about being named a co-plaintiff in that suit as I really wasn’t interested in punishing the town as it did not appear to me that they were doing much more than relying on “professional” advice…. He told me he’d bring it up an get back to me right away.
A little later, I got their proposals. The first is about a half acre that wipes out my biggest/best building expansion site. Effectively wipes out 2/3 of future expansion. Second proposal takes approximately an acre and gives me BARELY enough room to get around the EXISTING building and wipes out ALL chance of future expansion.
I thought about it for the next 24 hours and sent him my response for consideration at the meeting. My proposal included another option, that they buy me out totally. I outlined all of the events that had taken place and the opportunities that they had to stop and re-evaluate and correct the issue before it become and issue and the damage was done which they ignored. I gave them a price of three times the appraised value of the the property. That is appraised value is what the County Assessor says the property is worth for the last 10 years (granted everyone says this rate is rather exorbitant as it works out to about 10 times the original cost, but that is another issue). The multiplier of three comes from the fact that in timber trespass cases, you get three times the damages. There options were slightly less as they reflected loss of expansion and potential income. I stated that I thought there would be great gnashing of teeth and wailing that my price was unreasonable but that it was a starting point for negotiation.
The day after the meeting I got a message that they hadn’t had a chance to discuss the issue with their new attorney (sounded a little suspect to me) but would be talking to him at length after the weekend. When I still hadn’t heard anything a week later, I sent an e-mail asking what the status was. In return I got a VERY formal email telling me the steps that they were going to have to take and that they could pay no more than the appraised value….. etc. (outlining the process of eminent domain without calling it that). Of course, there is NO mention of their trespass and damages to the property ALL took place before they started the process.
I sent a response back telling them that since they were going to play the eminent domain card that they were to stay the hell of MY property unless I was present and any appearance there on with out notice and my presences would be considered FURTHER acts of hostile trespass and would be treated as such.
Two they were storing a number of trees at my storage facility and they would be receiving a bill for storage of the same. And the contact information for my attorney and that all further contact would be through him or it would be considered harassment.
In a very short time I received a response that they just couldn’t understand why I had turned so hostile and was getting an attorney involved yatta, yatta, yatta.
Well, I now find out from a very reliable source that the real reason they have a new attorney is that they parted company with their former council over this. It seems that when they brought this to him, they directed him to “acquire the property” at the lowest cost possible and if possible to attempt to brow-beat me into DONATING it to them. He then told them that he didn’t think that would work and that they needed to do what it would take to make me happy and this to go away… They pushed further and he told them that he REALLY didn’t want to take this to a hearing because there was NO WAY that they wouldn’t come out looking VERY BAD it went that far. They again told him what they expected and threatened to fire him if he didn’t follow directions. He told them that what they were directing him to do boarded on if it was not in fact unethical and that he really didn’t need to be involved….
SO, I have filed a tort claim against the air board and the town.
I met with their appraisers who, oh by the way they had FAILED to inform as to their trespass. Appraisers were NOT amused.
I have further found out there have been a number of lies told to me in an attempt to keep this quiet and to get me to surrender property.
Up to this point, I have not yet contacted any media organizations or those organizations which fight eminent domain but I fear that it is SOON coming.
Will keep ou informed.
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