County to exercise eminent domain for water line in Mill Spring

Published 8:58 am Friday, March 7, 2008

The county obtained all rights of way along the proposed water line route, except for those needed across the properties of Woodland Mills Corp. and Dunn&squo;s Solutions Unlimited, LLC.

Dan Dunn, owner of Dunn&squo;s Solutions, says he isn&squo;t trying to be obstructive, but he supports plans for the Town of Columbus to run a water line to Mill Spring instead of the county. He says the town and the county should work together and he will cooperate with what&squo;s in the best interest of Columbus.

The county and Columbus have been competing to see which of them can get a water line to Mill Spring first. The county says the water line is in its long-range plans for a county water system that will include a line from an intake on the Green River to Mill Spring. The county says customers in the Mill Spring area will help cover some initial costs for the system. Columbus says it would prefer to have the Mill Spring customers.

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Polk County Manager Ryan Whitson told commissioners Monday that he has obtained all other rights of way and easements for the water line and construction should begin in five weeks.&bsp; The county has approved a $303,640 bid from Marvin Hoyle Construction for the project.

Whitson said proposed agreements with Woodland Mills weren&squo;t in the county&squo;s best interest. Whitson also said the water line would go on Dunn&squo;s property at the edge of the road and at Woodland Mills the line will have to go on the other side of the creek.

Regardless of the line&squo;s location, Whitson said a water line should increase the values of both properties.

Polk commissioners&squo; resolution Monday directs Whitson to retain legal services to exercise eminent domain against Dunn&squo;s and Woodland Mills to acquire the right of way and easement for the water line. Commissioners did not discuss&bsp; details of the eminent domain process or how long it&squo;s expected to take.