Hancock County Couple Says City Built On Their Property

Linda and William Lamay say they got the surprise of their lives two years ago years when they discovered a sewer lift station was being built on county property they thought was designated to give them accesses to their lots. The couple says they got an even bigger shock after they had their property surveyed. They say it showed that part of the lift station actually sits on their land.

"I can't do nothing right now with this property," Linda Lamay said. "The station's got to go, and the road got to be put back so we can clean this property up properly."

According to the Lamay's survey, at least two feet of the lift station was built on their land. And that's what's at the heart of this controversy. But the land survey done for the Water and Sewer District says the lift station is not on the Lamay's property. Sewer District leaders say their engineers used maps from the county's tax office to conduct the survey for them.

"The conflict is between the tax maps and engineering surveys," Hancock County Water & Sewer District Director Eddie Renz said. "It's just what map you're looking at and what's right and what's wrong."

The Lamay's say it's a frustrating battle they've fought for nearly two years.

"I'm sure we're going to wind up in the courts," Linda Lamay said. "I've tried to avoid that. I've told the supervisors. I've told everybody else. I have always tried to talk things out, but everyone is ignoring me now. I think the next step is going to be to get an attorney. We will go to court and fight."

"I have no idea how we can work it out," William Lamay said. "Until we sit down and talk, as far as I'm concerned, I just like to have my property. Get that tank off, put my road back in there, and I'm a happy person."

Water and Sewer District officials say moving the lift station would cost the District around $300,000. Meanwhile, county supervisors will have yet another survey conducted on the property in hopes of determining accurate property lines.

By Al Showers

Online Producer Glenn Cummins