Friday, March 30, 2012
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City working with state to get property for Four Corners Lube expansion

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[March 30, 2012]  Tuesday evening, city engineer Mark Mathon provided the following memo to members of the Lincoln City Council:

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Update on the status of the issue involving Four Corners Lube:

IDOT is proceeding with the preparation of a proposal for the City to take jurisdiction of the Hickox Drive right of way at the southwest quadrant of Woodlawn and Lincoln Parkway. I spoke with an individual in Planning and Programming today, and was told that IDOT had arrived at a dollar amount for the Present Worth Value of the right of way and roadway, and that once it was approved by the Office of Planning and Programming, IDOT would prepare a Letter of Intent and JT forms for the City's review and approval.

This would be the first step in the process for a final resolution for Four Comers Lube. Once the City has jurisdiction of the right of way, the City could allow the continued encroachment, thereby allowing the construction of the proposed garage to be completed.

According to what was discussed, Four Corners Lube will pursue from IDOT a declaration that the area in question is Excess Property, allowing the purchase of the property from the State. At that point, the City would vacate a portion of the right of way, allowing it to revert back to the State, and be purchased by Four Corners Lube.

This issue began in September when the business owner, Rick Farney, poured a foundation for a new building, only to discover he had laid the concrete on state property.

He had to stop construction on the building until a resolution could be reached. According to state law, the state cannot give jurisdiction of a property to an individual, but can give it to a municipality.

Farney came to the council in February and asked them to get involved so he would be able to move forward in his business expansion project.

At that time, he made the council aware his business is growing, but he doesn't have the real estate to expand in any other direction. If he is to continue growing his business, he's going to have to work this out so he can build his new building on what's currently state-owned property.

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Tuesday night Mathon explained this was the process that would have to be gone through so that Farney could go ahead and build a new garage on state-owned property.

The right of way owned by the state would be put under the jurisdiction of the city, the city would allow Farney to build, and Farney would continue pursuing a permanent solution with the state.

For Farney to become owner of the property, he will have to petition the state to declare the land as excess property to be sold to him.

This is a process that does not happen quickly. Mathon noted it could take up to two years for the state to declare the land excess property. He said by the city going ahead and assuming jurisdiction of the right of way, Farney could be given a variance from the city and allowed to proceed with his project.

During discussion Alderman David Armbrust voiced a concern about doing the mowing. He was reminded that when Farney came to the council in February, he said he had always mowed the grass around his property and would continue to do so.

Mayor Keith Snyder asked when the letters from the state might arrive, and Mathon indicated he expected them in April.


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