Lambton County may pay more for road land

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Lambton County may soon be willing to pay more for land when it needs to widen a road.
In a recent report, Jason Cole, general manager of infrastructure, says since 2010, the county has offered between $3,000 and $10,000 per acre of land depending on whether it is bush or agricultural land. Often the county requires well under an acre.
“Staff has found that property owners are becoming reluctant to sell to the county for road widening for what they feel is inadequate compensation,” he writes. “As a result, the county has projects that have been on the backlog list for several years.”
That includes the widening of Mandaumin Road.
Cole says the only other way of getting the land is through expropriation. Even if the county would consider the unusual move, “the cost for legal fees would far outweigh the cost of a reasonable offer.”
County staff is recommending the rate per acre be doubled to between $6,000 and $20,000 per acre to make offers to landowners more attractive.
Enniskillen Mayor Kevin Marriott likes the concept. “Farmers are selling it for barely market value and I really believe the county should be paying more than what they are paying now. We’re trying to get it to real market value… and plus a little bit more.” County council will look at the idea June 7.

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