LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Property owners should have say in trail construction

Wednesday, September 12, 2012 | 5:35 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — Why does the Parks and Recreation Department have the right to place a new road/trail behind our homes and take property from our neighbors in the name of eminent domain? This land is a preferred route for the GetAbout Columbia trail to pass through.

There are other options, but the Parks and Recreation Department has stayed with its original plan with the facade that it is listening to us. The cost of the trail in the Grindstone Nature Area would be more than $1 million for about one mile of road/trail. This land is in a flood plain, but we were told if it flooded, "no problem," they would just replace it.

After several meetings regarding the proposed road/trail, our neighborhood voted overwhelmingly against it. Can we allow our city to use eminent domain in this way and we, as citizens, not have a voice?

Representatives of the Parks and Recreation Department stated, "We have the money to do it." Whose money is it? Beware citizens, your property might be next.

Homer and Sharon James are Columbia residents.

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