Franklin County Seal

The county has reached an agreement with a property owner to avoid using eminent domain for a bridge project.

County officials had been at an impasse with Gerard and Kathleen Furdek over two parcels needed for the New Hope Church Road bridge project.

Under the agreement approved by the county commission Tuesday, the county will pay the Furdeks $7,000 for the two parcels and agree to several other measures.

Of the $7,000 that the county paid for the property, about $4,800 is for the actual value of the land, and the other $2,200 is for court costs the county would have paid if eminent domain proceedings had gone forward, Franklin County Highway Administrator Eva Gadcke said.

She said the right of way is a little more than an acre.

As part of the deal, the county also agreed to set a 30 mph speed limit on the bridges and the approaches to the bridges; establish no parking areas on the bridges and approaches; stripe the centerline of the roadway; and construct the project in a fashion to allow for an access to the Furdeks’ property.

“We were able to address the concerns the Furdeks had,” Gadcke said. “It’s a win-win for everybody.”

Negotiations between the county and the Furdeks over the right of way broke down at the end of November, Gadcke said.

The project will include two new bridges on New Hope Church Road over Big Indian Creek with construction scheduled for 2015. The project will cost about $1.2 million and will be paid for with 80 percent federal funds and 20 percent county dollars.

Reaching the compromise is better than going to the court over the right of way, Presiding County Commissioner John Griesheimer said, noting that the agreement will save time and attorney fees.

Second District County Commissioner Mike Schatz publicly expressed his thanks to the Furdeks for agreeing to a deal with the county.