The state has upped its cash offer on at least two land condemnations along the route for a new South Baldwin road that ends with a third bridge over the Intracoastal Waterway between Gulf Shores and Orange Beach.
Attorney Warren Herlong, who initially represented owners of seven properties the state has acquired, still has four remaining and only two set for trial. And in those two cases, the state’s offer has slightly increased since September.
One of the most important pieces of property contains about 135 acres and will be the south landing of the bridge and its vital intersection with Canal Road. It is owned by Laura Almaroad, Wanda Dickman and Joy Sprunger, and they are represented by Herlong.
Initially they were offered about $3.8 million for their property, but an updated offer letter now puts the amount at $4.3 million.
“What is happening there is they are taking a certain amount of acres, but then they are denying access to the remaining acreage,” Herlong said. “The state is offering compensation for that denial of access and we certainly want to be compensated.”
Another of his cases, 8.38 acres owned by Tony and Patricia Diliberto, has also had an increase in its offer from the state as well. The first offering was for $405,000, but the updated number on that property, which contains a large house, some rental property and other outbuildings, is now $440,000. Tony Diliberto is a retired Gulf Shores firefighter.
“[For] Diliberto, it’s about the amount of just compensation. What the state offered is public record, and I can tell you that,” Herlong said. “But what we contend is the appropriate amount I can’t divulge yet. As to what our position is, that’s got to be kept under wraps for the time being.”
Diliberto said during a public meeting on the bridge in November that he was for the project.
“I’ve got a bullseye on my home,” Diliberto said. “I’m losing my home and I’ve lived in it for 40 something years and I’m still in favor of it.”
Herlong’s other two cases are Doyce and Shirley Ellenberg, who were offered $1.285 million for 21.25 acres, and the Williams Joseph Evans Revocable Trust, which was offered $737,150 for its property. Those numbers were not updated and remain the same as they were in September. The Diliberto case has a September trial date and the Evans case has a November trial date.
Attorney Richard Davis has two cases in circuit court including the owners of Pandion Ridge who have land on the south side of the Intracoastal Waterway. The Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) initially offered them just under $3.7 million for 49.75 acres. On the north side of the waterway, where the bridge footing is planned, the state offered Coastal Resort Properties of North Carolina $943,150 for 29 acres. Pandion Ridge has a pre-trial conference scheduled for June 6 and Coastal Resort Properties has a trial date of Sept. 9.
The Baldwin County Bridge Company, a subsidiary of the company that owns the Foley Beach Express, was offered $9,750 for 0.13 acres and it is also awaiting a court date.
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