Board negotiates land prices with pipeline company

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Concordia Board of Aldermen unanimously voted Monday evening to negotiate the sale of city property that will be used by Enbridge Inc. during construction of the Flannigan South Pipeline in the next few years.

The company made the city an offer of $6,835 for portions of land in the northwest section of town north of Interstate 70 and near the city's north lagoon off Davis Road. The agreement with Enbridge would include a few permanent easements of land and some temporary right-of-way work zones. Of the permanent easements, Enbridge would acquire .67 acres of city property, with .56 acres in the Metro East area and .11 near the city lagoon.

Alderman Mark Schnakenberg said current land prices for undeveloped land on the edge of town are between $8,000 to $10,000 per acre. Schnakenberg said the offer from Enbridge was below the market value; however, he wondered if negotiating a higher price might affect the city's future chances of annexing the Enbridge pump station north of town on Davis Road.

"I don't like the situation of thinking 'OK, do we work with Enbridge and give them a good deal and hope they give us annexation in the future,' or is this a separate issue and should we be getting fair market value for these [pieces of land]," Schnakenberg said.

Schnakenberg, who owns a real estate business, said he has heard from a few individuals who have negotiated prices that they received two or three times the original offer. He suggested the city not ask for an exorbitant amount of money, but the city should at least ask for higher, "round-number" amount.

The other three aldermen -- Ken Landes, Mark Schelp and Ruthie Fischer -- agreed with Schnakenberg that the city should try for a higher amount. Schnakenberg made a motion the city request $10,000 from Enbridge for the property and temporary work zones. It passed with 4-0 vote.

"I just feel like that is a fair amount because of the intrusiveness and the issues the city will have to deal with because of it," Schnakenberg said.

Concordia City Administrator Dale Klussman said the 600-mile pipeline will cut through the northwest section of town and cross four roads in the city limits. Enbridge will likely bore under the roads. They will have to bore under Missouri Highway 23 and Interstate 70, so they will already have the equipment and crews available to bore under the streets.

Concerning annexation of the pump station property, Klussman said Enbridge is willing to discuss the situation further; however, their resources are dedicated to the construction of the pipeline at this time, and it might be several months or years before they can move forward with the annexation negotiations.