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Ordinance would abandon portion of West Union Road right of way

By Bill ShortFlag City Logo

The Millington Board of Mayor and Aldermen has passed an ordinance on second reading that would abandon a portion of the West Union Road right of way.
Board members took the action during an Aug. 19 special called meeting on a motion offered by Alderman Frankie Dakin and seconded by Alderman Thomas McGhee. The motion was passed by six affirmative votes, with Alderman Mike Caruthers absent.
The proposed ordinance was passed on first reading at the board’s Aug. 5 regular monthly meeting. It was scheduled for a public hearing and final reading two nights ago.
During discussion at the Aug. 5 meeting, City Engineer Darek Baskin recalled that the previous board adopted a resolution on Aug. 2, 2010 to abandon the portion of West Union Road that was “realigned” to become Veterans Parkway.
“West Union used to come into Highway 51 a little bit catty-cornered,” he noted. “And when Veterans Parkway was constructed, the roadway was realigned to meet Highway 51 perpendicular.”
The city has owned approximately 600 feet of right of way on the portion of two-lane road that was once West Union. But if the ordinance was passed on final reading this week, the right of way will be abandoned to the adjacent property owners.
“In this case,” Baskin said, “the Shelby Mall Agency Corp. owns the property on each side of the former West Union that was realigned there. So, the property will be abandoned and relinquished back to Shelby Mall.”
In response to a question by McGhee, the city engineer acknowledged that this is more of a “bookkeeping measure” designed to tie up “some loose ends.”
City Attorney Charles Perkins also noted that it puts the property back on the tax roll.
Baskin said Millington paid a “good price” for the right of way that it got from Shelby Mall. And to “speed things along” for the right of way acquisition process, the city agreed at the time to assist the corporation in some “coordination” with Memphis Light, Gas & Water regarding relocation of utilities.
Although that was done during the Veterans Parkway construction phase, Baskin acknowledged that an electrical power line owned by MLGW does remain there.
“MLG&W will be responsible for either garnering the easement for that power line or accepting out of this right of way an easement from that,” he noted. “But that will be between MLG&W and Shelby Mall.”
Alderman Bethany Huffman said she was “under the impression” that the right of way had been offered to Millington at no cost. And it was her “understanding” that the city paid for it, because the state recommended that for “legal purposes.”
Baskin said he had no knowledge of such an offer. He only knows that, at the time it was acquiring right of way for the property, the city had it appraised.
Although Millington offered to purchase the property at the appraised value, Baskin said the corporation wanted more. He noted that state law allows the city to offer a property owner 10 percent above the appraised value.
“We did so, and they accepted that offer,” he recalled. “The city purchased the right of way from the Shelby Mall Agency Corp. and constructed the road.”

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