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Highway Department given OK to start land negotiations
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The Warren County Highway Department has been given permission to inquire about purchasing more than two acres located across the street from its annex building on Old Smithville Road. 
The property is 2.32 acres. It was sold in 2006 for $9,000 to Ronnie Rigsby. Since that time, more than $15,000 has been spent prepping the property for use.
“He thought he was going to build on it,” said Road Superintendent Levie Glenn. “He found a place on Morrison Highway and he bought it instead. He’s a really good guy. He hasn’t advertised selling it. I just asked him if he would consider selling it and he said he would.”
Glenn says acquiring that property will improve access to the facility’s property across the street.
“We can barely come in and out of our gate at the annex building,” said Glenn, who went on to explain how easy it would be to restrict access to the property. “There is no way to get onto this property, except from Old Smithville Road. Beside it there is drainage and you can’t get across it. All I would have to do is put up a gate across the entrance and it will be like a fence all the way around it. It would be a good area for us to keep our rock on. It would be convenient for us to go over there and load it.”
The initial offer is $18,000 and funds for its purchase would come from the department’s existing budget. Glenn asked permission from Highway and Bridge Committee members to accept the offer or begin negotiations with the property owner.
Commissioner Randy England says the property’s location would make it more valuable to the department.
“It’s like any land. If it’s located next to you, it’s worth more,” said England. “I would say, if you could get it for $14,000 or $15,000, then buy it. If you have the money and you want it and it works for you, buy it. That’s my opinion.”
Committee members unanimous agreed to allow Glenn to begin negotiations with Rigsby for the land. In attendance were Commissioners Gary Prater, David Rhea, Blaine Wilcher and England. Absent was Melissa Yancy.
A follow-up meeting has been scheduled for April 2 at 4 p.m. at the Highway Department.