June 25, 2012 - City Hall has been ordered to pay the owners of Graceland Apartments in Alberta $536,000 in order to seize the land through its powers of eminent domain. The city also must pay the fees and court costs for the proceedings, bringing the total owed for the rights to the land to $537,850.52.
Robin Edgeworth, co-commander of the city’s Incident Command team, proposed using $200,000 from the Tuscaloosa Storm Recovery Fund, to which some donors had submitted money exclusively to benefit education. Edgeworth’s plan called for the balance of $337,850.52 to come from the city’s General Fund Reserve for Future Improvement.
The City Council agreed and approved both elements of Edgeworth’s funding plan. Efforts to seize Graceland Apartments through eminent domain began in December, when the City Council voted to take the land as part of the new Alberta Elementary School campus. The apartment complex and the adjacent school were destroyed in the tornado that tore through Tuscaloosa on April 27, 2011.
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