First land acquisition imminent

Published 5:28 am Sunday, January 20, 2013

CHESAPEAKE — The first parcel of land that will become part of the Chesapeake Bypass is close to being bought by the Ohio Department of Transportation for $95,000 for .23-acre parcel.

“We are ready to close the deal with one property owner,” Kathleen Fuller, spokesperson for ODOT’s District 9, said. “We are in discussion with a dozen or so property owners. These would be total takes. We approach each property owner one at a time.”

In August there were seven property owners who had contacted ODOT wanting to sell their land.

The long-sought-after connector will link the Proctorville bypass to the outskirts of the Village of Chesapeake. The $94 million construction project is being touted as link between Huntington, W.Va., and Ironton.

Right now ODOT has between $2 million and $3 million in federal funds to pay for initial land purchases.

“We are starting small, going one at a time to people who had expressed interest for early acquisition,” Fuller said. “We still don’t have a construction timetable.”

ODOT uses an independent appraisal firm to determine the price of each parcel based on its market value and whether there are any structures on the land.

“It is a typical real estate offer as if you were in the private sector,” the spokesperson said.

For those selling land, ODOT does provide relocation services, if landowners request it, to find property for them to move to.

“We try to help them find a place and give them time to move in,” Fuller said. “It does help to do early acquisition to find a property. People who want to stay close to the area, there may not be that many properties on the market. It is not cut and dried.”