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Milton agrees to pay homeowner $79,000 for Hopewell/Bethany roads project

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MILTON, Ga. — The City of Milton has now settled a case with a homeowner after voting April 12 to begin the condemnation process on four parcels near the junction of Hopewell Road, Bethany Bend and Bethany Way.

The parcels are needed for a major intersection improvement project, which will include a roundabout as well as new turning lanes. On Sept. 8, the City Councill approved a final consent order to settle a condemnation action at the intersection of Hopewell Road and Bethany Bend, or parcel four.

The property, formerly owned by Donald Stepanek, includes 0.063 acres for easements and right of way and 0.031 acres of temporary construction easement. The City of Milton is paying Stepanek $79,510 for the acquisition of the property.

The total is $6,410 higher than the original figure the city had agreed to, which Public Works Director Sara Leaders said is normal. Leaders was promoted to public works director after serving as the acting public works director since Robert Drewry’s departure last spring.

“The final figure represents the end product of negotiations over the property’s price with the city and Mr. Stepanek,” Leader said. “When the city filed condemnation in July 2021, the appraised value for the land needed for the project was paid into the court for the city to gain title for the land.”

“During the appeal period that followed,” Leaders continued, “Mr. Stepanek submitted the previously agreed upon amount that was $6,410 higher than the appraisal. Variations like these are fairly normal for these types of actions, given the likelihood of some back-and-forth.”

The city has already paid $73,100 into the court but will now move to pay the additional $6,410. And because Stepanek has a mortgage, a portion of the money will go directly to him and the remainder will go to J.P. Morgan Chase Bank.

The project is funded through the Transportation Special Purpose Local-Option Sales Tax Milton voters approved in 2016. It is estimated to cost $3.88 million.

Work on the project began this summer with crews clearing trees and vegetation around the roundabout site.

Reach Chamian Cruz at 770-847-8079. Follow her on Twitter @xchamian.

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