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Should County Overpay for Watt Interchange Property?

Officials plan to purchase a property at the corner of Watt Avenue and Folsom Boulevard.

Sacramento County needs to use part of a property at the corner of Watt Avenue and Folsom Boulevard for an interchange project, and will pay 21 percent more than it thinks the easement is worth.

The property, 8928 Volunteer Lane, would be used as an easement for public utilities and temporary construction, according to a staff report. The item was approved by the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors Tuesday morning.

The $50 million project will expand the Watt Avenue at Highway 50 interchange, and will include new on and off-ramps, bicycle lanes and space dedicated to buses. .

The staff report states that the appraisal process for an easement over the property, which is owned by Volen Properties 10 LLC, began last summer.

"After the first offer was made, the Owner responded that the County’s offer was too low, claiming recent landscape improvements in the proposed easement areas justified additional compensation," the staff report states. "After lengthy negotiations with the Owner, a negotiated settlement was reached at $86,250, which is $14,950, or 21%, more than the County’s appraised value. DGS Real Estate concluded that the proposed settlement is reasonable and SacDOT approved the settlement amount. In addition, the settlement will eliminate expenses associated with proceeding through the eminent domain process."

The county plans to purchase six other properties for the interchange project, and has negotiated a price for one other, the staff report states.

Rosemont, what do you think of this price? Should the county try to keep its costs low for this project, or should it pay prices that property owners think are fair? Weigh in below by leaving a comment.

Brad March 27, 2012 at 09:07 PM
I'd like to know a little more about the "space dedicated to buses", I certainly hope they aren't intending to make that area into a bus depot for lightrail. I'm not sure that is such a good idea, considering it will likely increase foot-traffic across Folsom. The jaywalking at Starfire (and Watt/Manlove) is bad enough, can't tell you how many times I had to break when people just walk out into the middle of a very busy street, made worse at night where the overpass is so dark that they may be injured. Is it just a new bus stop or is it much larger?
Cody Kitaura (Editor) March 27, 2012 at 11:23 PM
Hey Brad, sorry for the vagueness. The plan is to build a bus lane. It's easiest to see in the second simulation video here: http://patch.com/A-cw6y

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