A Boone County jury on Wednesday awarded two landowners $341,500 for 29.87 acres taken in fee or encumbered by permanent easements in an Arkansas eminent domain case. The property had been condemned by the Ozark Mountain Regional Public Water Authority to construct a water intake and treatment facility on Bull Shoals Lake. In 2010, Ozark Mountain condemned a portion of Greg Giles’ and Karen Hughes’ 809.82 acres located in the Lead Hill area, resulting in the loss of lake access for the remaining 779.95 acres of Mr. Giles’ and Ms. Hughes’ property. Of the 29.87 acres condemned, 20.36 acres were taken by Ozark Mountain in fee to construct a 15 acre water treatment facility site and for buffer areas around the intake facility. Another 9.51 acres were encumbered by permanent easements held by Ozark Mountain to construct and use roadways, water transmission pipelines, and electrical distribution lines to service their facility.
Michael B. Phillips and Brandon Moffitt, eminent domain attorneys for the landowners, had asked the jury for $468,000 for the takings based on an appraisal by Glen Carlson of Fayetteville, Arkansas, and a conceptual development plan prepared by civil engineer Tim Sorey of Sand Creek Engineering in Bentonville, Arkansas. Ozark Mountain offered Mr. Giles and Mrs. Hughes $67,000 for acquisition of the 29.87 acres needed for construction of the project. Ozark Mountain based its valuation on an appraisal conducted by Tom Reed of Reed & Associates, Inc., in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
After three days of testimony, the three men and nine women jury deliberated for approximately an hour and a half late Wednesday afternoon before returning with their verdict in the Arkansas eminent domain case. Eleven jurors voted to pay Mr. Giles and Ms. Hughes $341,500 for their property. In a civil jury trial, only nine of twelve jurors must agree on a verdict.
Ozark Mountain Regional Public Water Authority’s intake and treatment facility project will supply water from Bull Shoals Lake to several cities, towns, and water associations in Boone, Newton, Marion, and Searcy Counties. Ozark Mountain used Arkansas eminent domain law to secure title to several parcels to construct the project.
Michael B. Phillips and Brandon Moffitt are members of Moffitt & Phillips, PLLC, a law firm based in Little Rock, representing property owners across the state in Arkansas eminent domain cases, and are dedicated to advancing the cause of private property ownership rights in Arkansas.
DISCLAIMER: ANY INFORMATION CONTAINED WITHIN THIS ARTICLE IS FOR GENERAL INFORMATION PURPOSES ONLY. THE CONTENT OF THIS ARTICLE SHOULD NOT BE CONSTRUED AS LEGAL ADVICE. THE PUBLISHING OF THIS ARTICLE DOES NOT ESTABLISH AN ATTORNEY/CLIENT RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ANY INDIVIDUAL AND MOFFITT & PHILLIPS, PLLC. ANY INDIVIDUAL REVIEWING THE CONTENT OF THIS ARTICLE SHOULD SEEK THE SERVICES OF A QUALIFIED ATTORNEY TO EVALUATE ANY ARKANSAS EMINENT DOMAIN MATTER, ARKANSAS CONDEMNATION MATTER, OR ANY OTHER LEGAL MATTER. PLEASE NOTE THAT PAST PERFORMANCE DOES NOT GUARANTEE FUTURE RESULTS. MOFFITT & PHILLIPS, PLLC IS LOCATED IN LITTLE ROCK, ARKANSAS AND HAS ATTORNEYS LICENSED TO PRACTICE IN THE STATES OF ARKANSAS AND TENNESSEE. MOFFITT & PHILLIPS, PLLC © 2012