U.S. 31 Land Acquisition Begins

There's new evidence that plans to re-build U.S. 31 between
South Bend and Plymouth are progressing.

The state made its first purchase offer on private property needed for the project.

However, the process seems to be off to a shaky start.

According to homeowner Paul Horvath, ”first of all it's my home, and it’s my children’s home….If I have an opportunity to move my home, that’s cost effective, I would like to do that.”

On one hand, moving the house seems simple. The house would only have to travel some 300-feet to a different part of Horvath’s lot.

But the process involves Horvath buying back the home from the state, and the price of doing that was set at 90-thousand dollars.

Newscenter 16 contacted several experts who all said that is by far the highest buy back price they’d ever heard of.
According to professional house mover Tim Lykowski, “if this is the starting point, if this is the way they handle them all, I can guarantee you there will be zero houses moved.”

Horvath’s is the first of more than 100-properties the state has to acquire for the U.S. 31 re-allignment.

Experts say the buy back price is typically set at 10-percent of the purchase price.

Horvath says, in his case, the buy back price is closer to 40-percent of the purchase price.

Attempts to purchase Horvath's property began so soon, because he filed as a hardship case.

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