Pooler City Council votes to use eminent domain - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Pooler City Council votes to use eminent domain

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The city of Pooler wants to expand city hall and voted Monday to use the power of eminent domain to claim shopping center along U.S. 80. Residents and business owners spoke out during city council meeting.

"It seems we have a lot of other land Pooler can buy that would be cheaper than doing this," said a Pooler business owner.  

"We want to see Pooler grow but at the same time I don't think Pooler could be where it is today without the Patel family," said a Pooler resident. 

The shopping center, which is owned by the Patel family, borders the current city hall and police station. The plan is to build a new city hall and re-purpose the current city hall as a new police station. 

"We have worked on negotiations for the past year and a half, as most lawyers have said there is a party that is not coming to the table," said city councilman Steve Wall. "We have about 30 days and I hope a short sale comes about. We hope this can be solved."

"Nobody wants this to happen," said a lawyer representing the Patel Family. "I believe city council doesn't want this to happen, certainly the Patels are really upset. The law is what the law is."

Now lawyers are fighting for fair market value compensation for the property in order for the Patel's to pay off the existing loans, but there seems to be much disagreement on that matter. 

The entire process could take anywhere from 75 days to two years. During that time, current business owners will have to relocate or be forced to shut down for good.

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