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County seeks to condemn business property

Negotiations have broken down between the county and a business owner located on the edge of the County Annex project.

Presiding Commissioner Jim Henson confirmed Thursday that the county has filed court documents requesting condemnation of a property at 217 N Washington. That is where Midstates Laundry is located.

On the county’s architectural plans that spot is where the parking lot is to go. The situation will not interfere with constructing the annex building, county officials say.

A judge will appoint a commission to review the appraisals and make a recommendation to the judge. They will not consider costs of relocation, Henson said.

In discussions with both parties, that appeared to be the bone of contention.

The county and the business owner, Stephen Rhoades, had been negotiating a figure for the property and moving expenses for the past several months.

Presiding Commissioner Jim Henson said Rhoades just wants too much money.

“We’ve heard an appraised value that we think is too high,” Henson said.

According to the commissioner, the county offered Rhoades $275,000 for the property and moving expenses.

Rhoades said he had not yet spoken with his attorney and had just received the condemnation notice Thursday morning.

“My personal opinion is they are doing it unfairly and it is the small guy against the big guy,” Rhoades said.

He did not want to be more specific without speaking with his attorney first, but did say his moving expenses are substantial because of the type of business he runs. There are special considerations for the water and sewer, and he must also have appropriate steam lines at his new location.

“The price they’re wanting to give for the property and moving expenses would put me out of business,” Rhoades said. “It’s an ongoing process, I understand that. But I can document everything I’m asking for.”

Rhoades owns several other locations which are drop-off points for the Farmington dry cleaning and laundry business. All the work is sent through the Farmington facility.

“This has been very unsettling for me and my customers. And for my employees. I have 25 families depending on this place for employment,” Rhoades said. “It’s the heart of my business.”

There has been a laundry and dry cleaning business at 217 N Washington for many years, but Rhoades has owned it for the past four.

The county has already purchased the other business locations that were standing where the annex will be built. The structures have been demolished. There were some concrete blocks left on the properties Wednesday afternoon which had been cleared by Thursday. check that

Brockmiller Construction has been awarded the building contract and will be getting a notice to proceed on the county annex Monday.

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