U.S. 31 Land Acquisition

Efforts to better protect taxpayers are not likely to be popular with some homeowners who find themselves in the path of a realigned U.S. 31.

A spokesperson for Indiana’s Department of Highways tells NewsCenter 16 that the rules of land acquisition have changed since the last time the state bought property here.

Those rules were not popular with Paul Horvath, the first landowner to receive a purchase offer related to the 31 realignment project.

He had hoped to move his home, but was shocked to find that the state wants him to pay $90,000 to buy it back.

Several local experts say that is the highest buy-back price they have ever seen.

The state spokesperson admits in the past, the buy back price reflected what it might cost to demolish the home.

She says the policy was changed by officials who felt it often provided the homeowner with a financial windfall at the taxpayer’s expense.


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