One Pascagoula Resident and City Disagree Over Eminent Domain Issue - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

08/16/05

One Pascagoula Resident and City Disagree Over Eminent Domain Issue

Thousands of cars travel 14th street in Pascagoula every day.

Three years ago the city decided to widen the busy road, but Bernard Kreb's property was in the way.

So the city bought Krebs' land for more than $200,000 dollars.

"I figured they bought it and were going to do what they said until I saw the sign that said for sale then I got kind of curious and maybe even a little upset," Krebs says.

A few things have Krebs upset.

First, he didn't just volunteer to give up his land.

The city bought it through the process of eminent domain meaning he got the fair market price but he didn't have a choice about selling.

Now what upsets Krebs is the fact that 14th street was never widened, and he wasn't given first option to buy back his land.

"I feel that the proper way to have handled that is when the city decided that they weren't going to use the property for the purpose that they said they would when they obtained through eminent domain, they should have come to the previous property owner, me and whoever owned the other property and asked us if we would like to buy it back," Krebs says,"That just made common sense to me."

City manager Kay Kell says it doesn't work that way.

"It's a legal thing. It's strictly a legal thing. We followed the law when we purchased it and we have to follow the law when we sell it. A lot of times the law doesn't seem to be just, but we still have to follow the law," Kell says.

The law says if Krebs wants his land back, he would have to get in line and bid like everyone else.

By Jaimee Goad

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