Merriam down to two property owner easements to clear the way for Farley reconstruction

Farley Avenue between 67th and 69th Streets.
Farley Avenue between 67th and 69th Streets.

Only two property owners have not signed agreements with Merriam for easements that the city needs to start a reconstruction of Farley Avenue between 67th and 69th Streets. The street is an historic section of road that dates its origins to 1871.

At least one property owner along Farley or in the adjoining neighborhood has appeared at several consecutive city council meetings to raise concerns about the process of acquiring the easements. Two weeks ago, the city passed an ordinance that would allow for condemnation proceedings to begin in district court. Councilors Al Frisby and Robert Weems voted against the condemnation ordinance.

At that meeting the city still had eight property owners who had not signed easement agreements. Some of the easements are temporary for the construction period and others are permanent easements.

Residents of the short street have complained about the negotiation process that was instituted through a third-party contractor. Once the petition is filed, the payment for an easement will be decided by a court appraiser.

Jarrod Ousley, one of the Farley Avenue residents, previously has raised concerns about the process and the fact that his driveway will be altered by the work. Although it is a temporary easement, Ousley contended that his property will not be returned in the same condition.

Ousley appeared Monday to ask for speed tables to be put in the street when it is rebuilt. He read part of an accident report from 2012 when he was hit by a speeding driver on the street. Mayor Ken Sissom said the speed tables can be considered after the construction and an assessment is made of traffic conditions.

The narrow street will be turned back to a two-way road after construction. Lou Ferlo, who lives on 70th Street, has appeared at a number of meeting as well to express his concerns about the effect the reconstruction design will have on safety in the neighborhood.

The project is scheduled to start this summer with bids being taken later this month.