The complete process of obtaining easements through condemnation before construction begins can take 6 to 9 months. This timeline runs consecutively from the first meeting with the Law Department to Notice to Proceed. The time can be shortened if the bid letting and award process runs simultaneously with the condemnation process. An ordinance designating the project scope and cost must be in place prior to initiating the condemnation process.
- An offer is made to the owners of the properties from which easements are required, followed by good faith negotiations.
- Project manager determines that condemnation action will be needed in order to acquire all easements needed for the project.
- Project manager and acquisition agent meet with the Law Department to discuss the project and review the requirements for condemnation.
- The Law Department drafts and submits to Council a Resolution declaring the need for eminent domain action. Resolution is effective upon publication.
- Project manager requests current Title Report (no more than 2 to 3 months old), to include property owners, situs address, mailing address, mortgage holders, easements, lienholders, and parties in possession. PW staff will review the legal descriptions of the takings for accuracy. All of this information along with 8/12” x 11” color tract maps showing the takings and a spreadsheet of the takings, is provided to the Law Department.
- Project manager files survey with City Clerk and provides a copy to the Law Department.
- Project manager meets with the Law Department to review the eminent domain petition and determine the length of temporary construction easements and other information particular to the project. The City Engineer verifies the petition.
- Once the Ordinance is published, the Law Department is able to file the Petition for Eminent Domain with Johnson County District Court. Once this is recorded a court date can be obtained for the Consideration of the Action and for the appointment of appraisers. Notice of these hearings along with a copy of the Petition are published and also provided to the plaintiffs. The Project manager attends these hearings with project plans in case of questions by the judge.
- Law Department consults with the appointed appraisers to determine a date for the Appraisers Hearing. Once a date is determined, the Notice of Appraisers Hearing is published and provided to the plaintiffs.
- Project Manager makes arrangements to have the areas of takings surveyed and staked for review by the appointed appraisers.
- Appraisers Hearing is held. Project manager attends this hearing and the viewing of the takings with project plans in order to answer any questions. Appraisers physically view the takings at each property. Appraisers have 45 days to file their report.
- Once the Appraisers Report and Statement of Appraisers Fees are filed with the District Court, the Law Department will route these documents along with check requests for signatures by the City Attorney and Director of Public Works. Check requests are submitted to Finance with a request to route the checks to the Law Department.
- The Law Department will forward payments to the District Court and receive a receipt of payment. The Law Department will provide Public Works with a copy of the receipt. Once payment is received by District Court, the easements belong to the City.