Owners refuse offers for detention basin land ... again

2013-05-14T16:16:00Z 2013-05-14T20:21:05Z Owners refuse offers for detention basin land ... againBy Phil Wieland phil.wieland@nwi.com, (219) 548-4352 nwitimes.com

VALPARAISO | It's a case of detention basin deja vu.

The city is acquiring the easements and property needed for the second phase of the Chautauqua Park flood relief project, which will be built in 2014.

Chief Deputy City Engineer Adam McAlpine told Valparaiso's Utilities Board on Tuesday the city is running into the same problem acquiring the land for the needed detention basin as it did on the land needed for the detention basin for the first phase, now under construction.

Offers for two parcels totaling 1.75 acres next to the former Valparaiso Tech building at Lincolnway and Center Street were rejected by the owners as too low, McAlpine said. The city went through the required process of obtaining two appraisals of the properties and offering the owners the average of the two.

For a 0.4-acre parcel owned by One Center Street LLC, the city offered $37,650, while the price for a 1.35-acre parcel owned by GM Development was set at $134,500. McAlpine said the latter owner indicated the property was a prime commercial location and should be valued higher.

As it did with the 10-acre parcel on Harrison Boulevard for phase one, the city's Board of Public Works and Safety is expected to authorize McAlpine to proceed with condemnation and let the courts determine the prices. The city still needs one easement for the current project and two others for the second phase.

The first phase involves the northern portion of Chautauqua Park, which is bounded by Lincolnway, Campbell Street, Yellowstone Road and the Canadian National tracks. Storm sewers are being installed on Bond, Grove and Ridgeland Avenues and side streets.

Storm and sanitary sewers are being built on Yellowstone and storm sewers already were installed on George Street and Avondale Avenue. McAlpine said the work has moved to Marion and Hope Streets before connecting with Bond and the others. The stormwater will be directed to the basin next to St. Paul school before emptying into Beauty Creek.

The project is being done by G.E. Marshall, of Valparaiso, for a total of $2.86 million and is expected to be complete by late fall.

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