what fee? whose fee?Posted by flyin-solo on April 21, 2019 at 4:13 am
went out to get caught up and finish this (and another job) off today. got this site mostly done on monday, then tuesday started feeling a tad off with what turned out to be the flu. which… glad i got that out of the way i reckon, think it was 6 or 7 years ago last time i had it. could hardly stand up for a couple days, and am fortunate to have some understanding clients.
anyways, this started out as a request for a proposal for a simple topo/as-built with boundary added just for reference. so of course i go do some cursory digging and it looks like the green acres community water tank might actually sit partially on a little sliver of mr. haney’s land. oh, and the whole shooting match is over and across portions of a 110-year old subdivision, complete with dedicated streets, that never had much more honored or developed than the original perimeter.
so finished up the field work today on about the nicest day a guy could ask for when feeling about 75% back from death’s door, now just waiting on the title work i ordered so we can figure out how bad mr. haney’s potential ransom is gonna be.
- 13 Replies
- MemberApril 21, 2019 at 3:00 pm
The old water tower and circumstances reminded of a job I worked on in the “dark ages” when I was with an engineering firm.
Small (pop. 500) town with a public water system that was falling apart and needed rehab. Fed grants were going to foot the bill. New buried mains, a new well, retro-fit of the water tower and updated hardware at the treatment plant. The town was happy.
The treatment facilities and the tower were all within a city park. In cabbaging all the paperwork (title work) together to satisfy the feds it was discovered the park had been dedicated to the city (c. 1940) by one family. The dedication deed had a specific reversionary clause returning the land to the family if it were to be used for anything other than a park. About half the area was truly “park” but the other half was the water tower, small treatment plant and well, and a fenced off shop with a sign that said “Public Works”.
It became apparent the city needed fee simple of the property to get the federal funds. They were faced with either a long and expensive legal battle with the time limit for the grants expiring…or to approach the two elderly survivors (son and daughter) of the original grantor to “purchase” the property that was occupied by something other than “park”. To make the matters worse, the brother and sister survivors were very old and not in good health. Should they expire there was a bus load of younger family members that were all waiting to lawyer up and “go for the throat”.
The city had three council members and a mayor that was also the public works director, licensed plant operator, meter reader and probably dog catcher. One of the council members was also the only peace officer in town. Their budget was probably smaller than the Sunday offerings at the local church.
They finally hammered out a solution to buy the property. I don’t remember the final amount, but the “mortgage” payments were around 500 bucks a month (1980 dollars) and had to be approved at every council meeting by members grumbling and making faces. But they were proud custodians of a shiny rebuilt water tower, well and pumps, new pvc mains (with hydrants made in the 20th. century) and a nice new concrete block building that held the their little “treatment plant”. “Smallville” survived. 😉
- MemberApril 22, 2019 at 3:25 pm
a simple topo/as-built with boundary added just for reference
This is ALWAYS a huge red flag. When a client thinks the boundary is incidental; I make sure they know, by no uncertain terms; the boundary is always my number one concern.
In the last 44 years, I’ve seen some real horror stories and I can relate some of them to the client and what they’re trying to do. That way; there are no surprises. I hate surprises!I hope everyone has a great day; I know I will!
- MemberApril 22, 2019 at 3:52 pm
Got a situation right now. $7.5 million spent on a new building for a private school. No real boundary survey. Bits and pieces done over the 25 years by 4 different surveyors. While there seems to be little potential that the building is not on the property, but we do have a longstanding sewer easement running directly under the new building.
- MemberApril 22, 2019 at 3:54 pm
OK. Scar the baby for life to get a great gif. Fair trade?
- MemberApril 22, 2019 at 4:32 pm
If that’s the worst thing to happen to that kid; he’s having a better life than mine…I hope everyone has a great day; I know I will!
- MemberApril 22, 2019 at 4:38 pm
That’s why you get paid the big bucks!I hope everyone has a great day; I know I will!
- MemberApril 22, 2019 at 6:13 pmPosted by: flyin solo
turned out to be the flu. which… glad i got that out of the way i reckon
Religion joke trigger warning. ????
Q: What did the Calvinist say after he fell down the stairs?
A: Well, glad I got that over with.
- MemberApril 22, 2019 at 7:58 pmPosted by: Norman Oklahoma
..Bits and pieces done over the 25 years by 4 different surveyors…
That’s what we call “hot potato”…who’s gonna catch it and have to hold on? 😉
- MemberApril 22, 2019 at 8:32 pm
that’s exactly what’s going on with the resub to the north of this. encompasses a bunch of the “streets” shown on the original plat, except they’re no longer streets. but the surveyor (who has been retired for more than a couple years now) kicked the can down the road by referencing the vesting deed before calling out the lots, blocks, and streets- in other words: knowing how sharp a guy he is, i would bet a few beers he saw the conundrum and didn’t feel like dealing with it and/or understood what it would take to NOT set off red flags at the county commission, so in dedicating the plat he just cited the vesting deed that may or may not have been the original source to claim of ownership of those dedicated-but-unbuilt streets.
- MemberApril 22, 2019 at 8:40 pm
for now it increasingly looks like the water company has the original deed to what they occupy. looks like adjoiners over the years- who have owned various portions and pieces of the original subdivision lots (and to be clear- the entire area is basically a gigantic cotton field) have lazily conveyed, for instance “Lots 4, 5, and 17” when they only owned pieces of such.
the singular act that seems to make the whole thing look like a nightmare is actually an act that i suspect was the sole attempt (that i’ve found so far) to rectify that issue- a grantee who wanted to replat some of his portion conveyed a piece to the WSC- a piece they already owned. that it wasn’t a quitclaim makes me think he wasn’t doing it purely out of the goodness of his heart, but nonetheless the appraisal district looks to have taken that deed and just made room for it between the original tract (which it is out of) and the replat to the north.
for a while here i thought we were dealing with a clever long-play from the adjoiners’ predecessor in title (dear old dad), who both conveyed to the WSC and was also a founding member of it, as well as being the guy who erected the tower itself. but it’s starting to look like a fairly typical case of deed illiteracy from somebody at the appraisal district.
- MemberApril 23, 2019 at 3:08 pm
I don’t know which is worse, small towns or BIG cities. Generally, in small towns, you can sit down and talk to Public Works Director, City Engineer, City Council, Mayor or someone and explain the problem and get an answer (maybe a month or two delay).
A few years ago we worked on a LARGE sanitary sewer rehab project for the City of Atlanta. We didn’t design it but were hired for layout, displacement monitoring, tunnel alignment and as-builts. You KNEW the specs were written by an engineer because ALL documents had to be stamped by a PE. Our folks sure were happy when they found out that I had both licenses and could actually understand the data collected byut the field crews. I believe that is the last time (and one of the few) I used my PE stamp.
- MemberApril 23, 2019 at 3:36 pmPosted by: Andy Bruner
I don’t know which is worse, small towns or BIG cities. Generally, in small towns, you can sit down and talk to Public Works Director, City Engineer, City Council, Mayor or someone and explain the problem and get an answer (maybe a month or two delay). ..
I agree. Small municipalities are a lot more accessible and prone to make quick decisions vs. the “big boys”.
Funny story about engineering construction specs:
I managed to get a lot of materials experience and certifications running the lab for an asphalt producer. When I went to work for an engineering firm they discovered my ability to produce typewritten sentences in English that made sense and sounded “authoritative”. For three years I wrote construction specs that were merely “reviewed” by the PEs.
After a while I realized most of them either never read them or just briefly scanned my work. I decided to drop some “land mines” into them to see if anybody was really reading them. I remember one instance of (basically harmless) levity I placed in the 500 some odd pages was the directive “All that glitters is not gold unless otherwise specified by the project engineer or his representative”.
Nobody ever read it or said anything about it. I bet that outfit is still using those specs.
- MemberApril 25, 2019 at 1:40 pm
Dammit Paden, ya fooled me again. As soon as I saw the sentence “The town was happy” I immediately assumed we were in for another Cash catastrophe episode. The water tower didn’t “accidentally” fall on the Police Station or God forbid, the local Krispy Cream. Nobody got arrested. No crashes or intense confrontation between Surveyor and Contractor. No fights, police, grenades, nothing, nada.
It’s time for another episode of “How I managed to avoid prison while a juvenile”, by Paden Cash. ????
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