Council members discuss charging for right-of-way

Published: Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 02:10 PM.

CHIPLEY — The City Council approved the first reading of two ordinances allowing the abandonment of right-of-way and of a 20-foot alleyway in preparation for the construction of a new Dollar General store in Chipley, but not without some controversy.

Council member Kevin Russell asked if the city shouldn’t charge for right-of-ways instead of abandoning them to property owners during Tuesday’s council meeting.

“Is there a reason we abandon property, isn’t there a way we can charge for this?” Russell asked.

“The property belongs to the public, there generally isn’t any tax revenue coming to the city from it,” said City Administrator Dan Miner.

Tom Hodges, representing Teramore Development, said he had never encountered a city trying to charge for right-of-way.

Resident Cheryl McCall said the state charges for surplus property and asked why the city couldn’t do the same. “The state asks for fair market value on their property,” she said.

Hodges said the company planned on building a new facility which would increase the value of the property and increase tax revenue for the city.

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