Catawba County paid property owners a total of $101,413 for land the county took through eminent domain last year.
The county condemned two pieces of land totaling about 7 acres in April 2020 through eminent domain law, which allows public entities to take land for approved public uses. The properties, off Yount Road, are directly next to the old landfill on Bethany Church Road in Newton. The land was taken to create an additional buffer around the landfill, Catawba County Marketing and Communications Director Amy McCauley said.
The county initially set aside $36,100 for the 4.4-acre piece of land owned by Brock and Derek McGee, part of a larger piece of property owned by the two, according to court documents. The county settled for $62,413, County Attorney Jodi Stewart said during a Catawba County Board of Commissioners meeting.
The county offered $23,100 for 2.6 acres of a property owned by Shirley McGee. The county agreed to another $15,900 — a total of $39,000 according to court documents. The case was completed in October 2020. The county also agreed to plant trees along the new boundary between Shirley McGee’s property and county property.
The county is continually maintaining the landfill to prevent contamination and water pooling. In March 2021, the county approved a $2 million project to fix areas where the dirt in the landfill, which closed in 1990, has settled. The areas cause water to pool, which makes it difficult to stay in compliance with state laws, Catawba County Manager Mick Berry said in a March meeting.