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Owners wanting fair deal from ODOT’s viaduct project

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The viaduct project continues to be a well-talked about concern in Guthrie. Now, business and land owners are wanting a fair offer from the Oklahoma Department of Transportation.

Lance Benton speaks at a public meeting concerning the ODOT project on State Highway 33.

Lance Benton speaks at a public meeting concerning the ODOT project on State Highway 33.

An estimated 50 landowners met last week for an informative conversation and try to figure out why they are not being offered what their property is worth.

The ODOT eminent domain meeting on Guthrie property owner’s rights was hosted by Don and Lance Benton, who own and operate Benton’s Service Center.

“The property values they have given us will not buy another location,” Lance Benton said.

ODOT expects to replace the 78-year-old Highway 33 bridge, in 2016, from two lanes to four lanes while also expanding portions of the highway to four lanes.

The ODOT project completed the environmental assessment this past summer. The right-of-way appraisals, acquisition and utility relocations are ongoing. It is estimated 23 commercial and 12 residential relocations will take place Guthrie’s west side.

Several owners explained ODOT are not being factual when it comes down to details, such as square feet of their property, and were “low balling” their offer.

ODOT, who uses tax dollars to purchase the land, says they want to hear from owners to discuss why their business is worth more.

The Benton’s, who have hired an eminent domain attorney, says they are not looking to get rich from the project, but simply want a fair offer so they can relocate their 33-year-old business.

“The offer they gave us will not let us keep going,” Lance Benton said.

Related story: Video: ODOT holds viaduct public hearing

Related story: Citizens hold town hall meeting for future plans

Related story: Council updated on the latest involving the viaduct

Related story: Video: behind the scenes with ODOT and the viaduct

Related story: ODOT shuts down viaduct bridge; traffic being detoured

Related story: Public meeting scheduled for viaduct replacement project

Categories: News, Traffic
  1. November 25, 2014 at 12:28 pm

    these owners should get appraised value on the property taxes paid, GOOD LUCK THERE.

  1. February 28, 2015 at 1:58 pm

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