The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

September 11, 2012

Jasper County straightens out boundary error dating to 1881

CARTHAGE, Mo. — East Opolis shifted north Tuesday, and there wasn’t even an earthquake.

In all, seven houses shifted to the north, but the change took place only on paper.

According to an original county plat, Kim Scripsick’s house was in the 80-foot right of way for Thatch Lane in the tiny unincorporated community that is adjacent to Opolis, Kan., on the Missouri side of the state line.

Scripsick said she and her husband wanted to sell their property, but an official survey was required for the new buyer to get approval for a loan underwritten by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

“We found that part of the house was in the street right of way and part of our neighbor’s house and garage was on our property,” Scripsick said, referring to the original plat.

She said all seven properties near the Missouri-Kansas line were incorrectly platted in 1881, and the boundaries on paper were off by about 14 feet.

Scripsick said she and her husband have owned the property, which is a rental home, since 2010, and no one had ever noticed the error before.

After the problem was discovered, the couple met with Jim Honey, Jasper County Eastern District associate commissioner. Honey and the other commissioners on Tuesday decided the only solution was to have a new plat map drawn up of the entire neighborhood.

Scripsick was the only landowner at a meeting Tuesday when county commissioners held a public hearing on the plan.

Marjorie Miller, a longtime resident of East Opolis, did not attend but said later Tuesday that she supports the effort to straighten out a 131-year-old error. Miller said she and her husband have owned their home for 25 years and were “very much surprised” when the error was discovered.

“We didn’t need a survey when we bought our home but we wanted to get it right, especially if it’s something that’s been messed up for 130 years,” she said. “We didn’t want it to be something our kids would have to deal with after we were gone.”

With the replatting, all the property boundaries were moved to the north.

“Nobody lost anything or gained anything; this just moved the lines a little,” Scripsick said. “It just makes it correct on paper.”

Official move

The new boundaries become official once they are recorded by the Jasper County Recorder’s office.


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