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Landfill Eminent Domain

Surry County, NC: (Feb-25-08) Don and Faye Terrell brought charges against Surry County, over eminent domain rights the county used to acquire their farm in March 2007. Court records stated that the retired couple had refused to sell their farm to Surry County for 10 years. Sources said that the county had condemned their farm in March using its power of eminent domain and bought it for $653,000. The property, south of Mount Airy on Terrell Lane, borders the county's current landfill, a 350-acre site used for burying demolition and construction debris, along with household trash. When county officials opened the landfill in 1998, they were already negotiating with the Terrells to buy their adjoining farm. The combined acreage would provide Surry with adequate landfill space for 50 years. Although the Terrells took the money, they refused to sign a consent order agreeing to the price. A judge ordered the couple off the land in November 2007, but another judge had already ordered mediation. Records show that the Terrells had claimed that they would not leave until they got as much as $1 million, but they later said that the stress of the court battle was beginning to affect their health. They were unable to sleep and found it hard to relax in their home and on the land, which is not a working farm but does include a kennel where they keep bird dogs.

Officials on both sides stated that a settlement agreement had been reached, in which the couple signed a settlement for $800,000. Don and Faye Terrell agreed to a selling price of $725,000 and an additional $75,000 for relocation expenses after more than five hours of talks. The 95-acre farm will eventually be used for a landfill. The Terrells claimed that they were never opposed to the county expanding its landfill but just wanted a fair price for the land. They have two houses, a barn and several outbuildings on the property. [JOURNAL NOW: LANDFILL LAND]

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Published on Feb-26-08


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