FORSYTH COUNTY — Forsyth County commissioners gave the go-ahead to move forward on a south Forsyth road widening project.
During a meeting Thursday night, commissioners voted 5-0 to approve the purchase of a right of way, four parcels total, needed for the widening of Union Hill and Mullinax roads in south Forsyth. The cost is about $76,000.
After an executive session, they also approved condemnation of two other parcels for the project.
To date, County Attorney Ken Jarrard said, the county has acquired between 60 to 70 percent of the necessary right of way.
He explained that the condemnation process is used when land owners and governments can’t quite reach a deal agreeable to both parties.
“If our efforts at negotiating a mutually voluntary acquisition fail, then the county, under the Constitution, has the ability to take land and we will pursue it that way,” Jarrard said.
“Of course, when we do that, we have to take a certain amount of money that we believe the property is worth and we have to tender that into the court … then if the property owner wants to continue to contest the value, they can do that.”
The Union Hill and Mullinax widening project has an estimated completion date of mid-2016.
In October, commissioners pulled $31 million from the previous 1-cent sales tax program to help fund the Mullinax project and others.
The money will go toward the $13 million widening of Union Hill and Mullinax, as well as an estimated $11 million widening of the southern- and northern-most portions of Old Atlanta Road and $7 for repaving and maintenance needs.