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March 28, 2019 - City Council Special Meeting
4. Motion to Approve Resolution to Authorize the Use of Eminent Domain for a Portion of 1813 Delesseps Avenue.
Strategic Priority


The Mayor and Aldermen of the City of Savannah approved and entered into a Right-of-Way Acquisition Contract with the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) for improvements to Delesseps Avenue and LaRoche Avenues between Waters Avenue and Skidaway Road.  These improvements align with the adopted City Council Strategic Priorities: Infrastructure, Neighborhood Revitalization, and Public Safety.  Specifically, these road projects reduce street flooding, increase the amount of sidewalks, improve the quality of Savannah streets, improve mobility and neighborhood connectivity, enhance a commercial corridor, and ultimately help residents feel safer in their neighborhood.  The proposed project would provide sidewalks, bicycle facilities, and curb/gutter and improved drainage.  Existing signals along the corridor would be modified to include pedestrian phases, signal heads and push-button stations.   A total of 120 parcels are affected in which rights-of-way and/or easements from private landowners are required to facilitate this project. 

The Right-of-Way Acquisition Contract governs how the project will be managed and includes reimbursement from GDOT to the City in the amount of up to $2,284,800 for eligible acquisition costs. Acting in accordance with 49 CFR Part 24 - Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition for Federal and Federally-Assisted Programs, staff has attempted to contact and negotiate in good-faith with owners on record. If all rights-of-way and easements needed for the project are not acquired by December 2019, the City is at risk of losing reimbursement.


Owner - Clarence Mercer, Sr. & Mary Mercer. (John Butler, son and point of contact)
Property Address - 1813 Delesseps Ave, Savannah, GA 31404
Property Identification Number - 2-0104-12-004
Legal Description of Parent Parcel - Lots 13 & 15 BLK O E WD Sackville E Sessions WD
Required Right-of-Way - 0.003 Acres
Required Easement - 0.03 Acres


Title work was performed on the property and the owners of record are Clarence Mercer, Sr. (deceased) and Mary S. Mercer (in nursing home and incapacitated). Staff met with John Butler, son of Mary Mercer, at the subject property. He does not have her Power of Attorney to transfer real estate and does not want to incur the cost of legal representation to obtain the necessary documents. There is no dispute with the offer amount; therefore, the only way to acquire the right of way and easement is to utilize eminent domain.



David Keating, Director of Real Estate Services.
Financial Impact
To be paid from Delesseps Avenue SPLOST project 311.9207.52842.TE0708.
Review Comments
Exhibit 1: Resolution Attachment - 1813 Delesseps.pdf
Exhibit 2: Map Attachment - 1813 Delesseps Avenue.pdf
Exhibit 3: Presentation - Delesseps Avenue Widening.pdf
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