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Cathy Taylor
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You’re In My Spot: Carmi Attorney Addresses Accidental City Encroachment onto Resident Property

Unfortunate. A Mistake. That’s how City Attorney Greg Stewart describes an oversight that now has workers scrambling to undo and redo work at Burrell Woods ahead of the Solar Eclipse.  Locals took to social media when they noticed concrete pads being demolished prompting others to chime in suggesting the city had done construction on property that wasn’t theirs.

City Attorney Greg Stewart says the old survey the city was working from didn’t have good posts marking the line.

“In preparation for the eclipse events out at Burrells Woods, certain things needed to be put in…there needed to be some concrete pads with electric and water for campers, etc.  We had had an old survey done out there.  The posts, or sometimes they put wooden stakes in the ground to denote where the pins are, those were long gone and we went out, started to make the improvements and unfortunately and very mistakenly we got over the line.  The adjoining land owners were very courteous to me.  Mr. and Mrs. Hubele came to me, we had a good discussion.  I got the surveyors back out there.  They marked the line directly on the ground.  We saw that we were over.  We reached an arrangement with those landowners to remove what we inadvertently put on them.  And we’re actually going to install a fence out there so now we better understand where the line is because we don’t want to encroach on Mr. and Mrs. Hubele.  They graciously worked with me to plan the process of the removal.  We’d actually put a culvert out there and I gave Mr. and Mrs. Hubele the option to keep it if they wanted to.  They said no, they didn’t want it so we’re getting ready to pull the culvert.  So it’s kind of one of those situations where the city mistakenly did built a little bit onto them but we’re going to correct it by removing it, putting it back to the way it was, erecting a fence, and hopefully we all walk away, shake hands and go, ‘unfortunate event’, but it is what it is and we fixed it.”

Stewart declined to lay any blame saying that using old surveys, sometimes it does happen and that it’s even common.  Given the chance to go back, he did elude that perhaps not enough due diligence was done.

“In hindsight, should someone have probably gone out there and taken a metal detector or something and looked for them, yeah, but you don’t always do that.  You kinda know where you think the line is and in this case, what we kinda knew didn’t turn out to be 100% right.”

Stewart says he believes it only amounts to a few camping spots and that if those spots were rented, he was sure accommodations were being made for those folks.

It’s also expected the outdoor archery range will have to be moved.  Work had already begun in that area as well.

There’s also concern of just how much time and money has been lost through the mistake.  Stewart says he can’t put a hard quantification on it, but says it’s not as much as some keyboard warriors allege.

“We had some concrete pads for the campsites.  We had at least one concrete pad where we put some porta potties on to keep them level and out of the mud or whatever.  We had some electric and water lines ran to the pads for the campers.  We put in some gravel to accommodate people getting to those spots and a culvert.  To quantify that, I can’t.  I don’t know if anybody at the city actually could.  We’re not talking about a lot of money, but I’m sure we’re talking about a few thousand dollars.”

Ultimately, Stewart called it a learning experience the city will and everybody can learn from.

“I hope that people can learn from this experience.  If you make a mistake with your neighbor, talk to them, fix it, and go on down the road.”

Down the road is just days away now as city crews and officials race to prepare for the Carmi Fest eclipse festival.  Activities are set to get underway on Friday, April 5th and conclude on Sunday, April 7th before the eclipse on April 8th.  Folks will begin to experience the eclipse at around 12:45pm and totality will commence just after 2:01pm.  Learn more about the events planned for the weekend at http://www.carmifest.com.

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5 comments
  1. Don Julio
    Don Julio
    March 27, 2024 at 2:09 pm

    All that money wasted, Carmi’s money. Someone needs to be held accountable, town politics shouldn’t outshine such a monumental theft from the people of Carmi.

    Reply
    • Tax payer
      Tax payer
      March 27, 2024 at 5:35 pm

      Someone’s head needs to roll over this! It’s an absolute waste of taxpayers money being spent on a stage and all that when there was a perfectly good stage at the fairgrounds, plenty of parking, facilities already there and easy access. Instead Carmi’s finest pours money down the drain and half of it isn’t even city owned properly. What an absolute disgrace, embarrassment and waste. How many city workers are working on this project? To many!

      Reply
  2. bob
    bob
    March 27, 2024 at 7:58 pm

    agree…all that money could been spent on something needed and useful

    Reply
  3. Outlaw
    Outlaw
    March 27, 2024 at 10:46 pm

    Jokes on them, I just heard from a very reliable source the eclipse was cancelled due to weather and they haven’t announced the new date.

    Reply
  4. Jimmy king
    Jimmy king
    March 31, 2024 at 3:52 pm

    This is a great way to waste more money just like planting flowers on the corners of the city blocks doubling the electric bills and I’m just happy to see the city being targeted for once hail Jimmy king

    Reply

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