City of Mesa may use eminent domain to obtain property for light rail expansion

MESA, AZ - The City of Mesa may resort to eminent domain in order to clear the way for light rail expansion .
The council authorized use of eminent domain last week, but the city is still negotiating with dozens of landowners.

Construction is already underway along Main Street between Sycamore and Alma School Road.
Several businesses have been bought out, while others will only lose a portion of their property for street widening and public works.
Randy Wright of Main Street Motors explained that the land acquisition would eat up several feet of his lot and the offer from the City isn't complete.
"They only want to pay me for the land," he said. "They are placing no value on the loss of the display area to my business."  
Wright said that it is not clear what will be placed on the land once it is taken and that makes it impossible to calculate the impact to his business.
"First they said it was a fire hydrant, and then they said a street light and then said maybe a utility box," he explained. "All those things will impact my business differently."
The City of Mesa has reached agreements with about 64 property owners. There are 23 where negotiations are ongoing.
City representatives would not comment at this time.
Construction will continue through mid 2015.

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