CARTHAGE, Mo. —
Property that Jasper County is seeking to acquire for a future expansion of the county jail is appraised at $38,000, members of the County Commission said Tuesday.
The commission requested the appraisal after directing Norman Rouse, attorney for the panel, to start attempts to acquire the property at 514 and 515 W. Fourth St.
Commissioners authorized Rouse to start eminent domain proceedings to buy the land, about a half-block area just east of the jail. Rouse said he first will try to negotiate to buy the property.
“This gives us the information on the value; we’ll go from there,” he said.
The owner had rebuffed earlier purchase offers from John Bartosh, presiding commissioner.
The property is listed for sale at $200,000, Rouse said. It contains two houses. Both are vacant and boarded up; one is fire damaged. Noe Salasstet is the landowner.
If the county and the owner can’t agree on a purchase price, the county plans to file eminent domain proceeding to attempt to convince a court that there is a public need for the property. If the court agrees, three “commissioners” are appointed to set the value of the property. The county can then buy the property for that price, though the landowner can appeal in an attempt to get the court to set a higher amount.
Commissioners have said they want the property for a future expansion of the jail. There are no immediate building plans and, if acquired, they said the property could be used for parking in the interim.
Bartosh said repairs to safety systems in the jail are on scheduled, but not expected to be finished until next year. Cornerstone Detention Products is the contractor on the $816,000 project.
In other action during the meeting, Jim Honey, Eastern District commissioner and supervisor of county road projects, said ceremonies were held last week to mark the completion of road improvements on Madison Avenue north of Webb City High School.
“We were able to get the road opened back up; a lot of people were happy about that,” he said.
The project included replacing a large culvert, then widening and paving the road, from the city limits of Webb City, to the north. Snyder Construction Co. was the contractor, at a cost of about $275,000. The work had closed the road for about two months.
Webb City also widened and paved the road from the city limits south, Honey said.
Commissioner Jim Honey said work has started on a barn that will be used to store materials used by county road crews to clear snow and ice in the winter. The building is under construction at the Jasper County Road District complex on North River Street in Carthage.