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Tippah settles eminent domain suit for $675K

RIPLEY — Tippah County has shown a profit from land it bought in 2007 in anticipation of Toyota locating the area and highway officials needing to build a bypass for Mississippi Highway 15.

“When the county purchased this property in 2007, the board was criticized for paying so much for the land, but the board knew that the property would be worth much more when the state purchased its right of way for the Highway 15 expansion,” said Board of supervisors attorney Sean Akins. “They bought land for $3,000 per acre and sold it for $9,000. The board’s investment paid off.”

The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal reports the county settled an eminent domain suit with the state Department of Transportation, which needed 70 acres for the bypass.

MDOT had sued the county when they reached on impasse on a sale price for the right of way.

Officials announced this week that the settlement will bring the county $675,000 – much more than MDOT’s original offer of $250,000.

In 2007, Tippah County acquired about 315 acres adjoining the North Ripley Industrial Park for $960,000 – or about $3,000 per acre.

“This settlement means that the county will have the remaining 240 acres of prime land on both sides of the four lane bypass at a net cost of less than $1,200 per acre,” Board of Supervisors President Jimmy Gunn said.

Officials said the county bought the land in anticipation of the announcement of the Toyota automobile plant and because the route for the Highway 15 bypass was planned through the middle of the property.

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