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City pays judgement for old football field property

Lennox City Council voted Monday night to pay the judgement for the old football field property. It was in October 2014 the City of Lennox tried to gain the property located south of the softball diamonds at Westerman Park by eminent domain. While they gained the property, it came at a high cost for the City. In a verdict on September 29th, 2016 the City of Lennox was instructed to pay $505,285 in compensation to the defendant, Lennox Properties, LLC for the property in question.

Monday night Finance Officer Jerry Jones explained the cost amount to be paid that evening was $570,504.01. Interest on the original judgment was accumulating at $69.95 a day. The proposal brought forth by Jones highlighted where the funds were to be derived from. From revenue and reserves it lists $60,000 from Land Acquisitions ($30,000 General Fund, $30,000 Sales Tax), $240,000 from Pool Reserves ($25,000 General Fund, $215,000 Sales Tax), and another $270,504.01 from General Fund Reserves for a total amount of $570,504.01.

Jones said the 2017 budget casualties will include the loader update for $75,000, the sweeper reserve for $50,000, the zipper potential $29,000, and the pool project $240,000.

Jones said, “The pool is the one that will get hit the hardest. I will recommend for 2017 [a new pool] won’t happen.”

He also stated that the funds would be made up by the end of 2018. Jones said the pool committee was to meet Wednesday so they would be aware of where the project was at. With very little discussion the motion passed.

Jones also added that for the public knowledge $130,000 had already been paid. The $130,000 was the dollar amount agreed upon by attorneys that the City felt the property was worth. This payment had to do with the condemnation process, and the City’s right to use the property. The money was put into what the attorneys called an escrow account.

In the end, the City will end up paying a total of approximately $700,000, which includes the plaintiff’s attorney fees, disbursements, payment for expert witness fees, and interest from the day the City took over the property, back in June of 2015.

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