Caraway Council discusses proposed land sale

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

Caraway Mayor Joe South reported on the proposed sale of property in Basler Village at the regular Caraway City Council meeting Thursday. Five homeowners have expressed interest in the property adjacent to their homes. Attorney Charles Frierson reviewed plans to sell, and explained that a survey of platt, a quit claim deed and an ordinance would be necessary to sell the property. Troy Sheets has done survey work on the project. Mayor South agreed to talk to prospective buyers concerning agreement to purchase the land.

The council voted to amend Ordinance No. 2003-03, declaring an emergency and authorizing the issuance of the City's Water and Sewer Revenue Bond, Series 2003 (the "Series 2003 Bond").

The city voted to amend the certificate of incorporation of Craighead County Solid Waste Disposal Authority.

Mayor South agreed to notify the power company of the need for a city light at the north corner of the Dalton Taylor intersection, west of town.

Attorney Wayne Wagner, of Manila, spoke to the council on behalf of the Byron Hicks family, concerning the blockage of an alleyway behind their house.

Wagner explained that the stone fence, built on the north side of the Community of Christ Church, protrudes six feet into the existing alley, blocking passage.

"The original survey marker is still there, and new survey markers are 10 feet off," Wagner said. "Metal detectors will show where the markers are. The power lines along the alley are in a straight line and edge the alley. The alley has been there since the 1980s. The church has put a fence in the middle of the alley. City records do not show that the alley was ever closed legally by the council, so the alley should be left open. We are asking that the council take a look at the original city map and the markers and make a decision on this."

"I have checked city records, and there are no ordinances or minutes showing where we closed the alley," Mayor South said. "The survey from the church is different. One of the surveys is wrong."

Becky Earnhart and church pastor, Kenny Qualls, spoke on behalf of the church.

"The 1948 and the 2000 maps are the same," Earnhart said. "They both show a 10 foot alley. We were trying to stop the late night traffic and disturbances. We hired a surveyor when we wanted to know where the fence needed to be put."

Ernie Coleman was the surveyor for the church project.

"If you allow any citizen to get a surveyor and go close an alley, you could be closing alleys all over town," Wagner said. "If an alley is there over 30 years, it becomes a constructive easement, under the statute of limitations."

"The alley has not been used in 30 years," Qualls said. "We feel that we are on our own property."

Mayor South asked Qualls if the church would be willing to move the fence.

"The church would move the fence if it is encroaching on the alleyway, but we feel we are on our own property," Qualls said. "If our surveyor is wrong we will move it."

The council tabled the decision on the alley right-of-way until they could go to the site and examine the markers.

The next council meeting will be held at 6 p.m. September 11.

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