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Columbus plans forced land sale for redevelopment project

July 21, 2019

COLUMBUS, Miss. (AP) — A Mississippi city is moving forward with plans to force owners to sell 12 pieces of land to make way for a downtown redevelopment project.

The Commercial Dispatch reports that the Columbus Redevelopment Authority wants to replace vacant and low-value homes with higher-value housing.

The Columbus City Council has given the organization permission to start the land-taking process known as eminent domain.

The organization must prove to a judge that the public is best served by making owners sell the property.

The redevelopment authority president, John Acker, says negotiators tried more than four years to buy the land in the Burns Bottom area. He says “short-term discomfort is worth a long-term positive solution.”

Seven of the 12 lots are vacant. Three have unoccupied houses. Two have houses where people live.

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