By Dan Lee

MORENO VALLEY – The City Council will consider tonight using eminent domain to acquire land from nine property owners to help improve a section of Day Street.

City officials are planning to improve Day Street between Alessandro Boulevard and Cottonwood Avenue. The project will require officials to obtain easements or the rights to use land belonging to nine property owners temporarily during construction; a permanent easement would be needed from one property.

“Negotiations have not been successfully completed with all of the property owners, and it is therefore necessary to proceed with eminent domain to acquire the easements necessary for the project to allow the work to commence on or about December 2008,” Senior Real Property Agent Monica Adamee wrote in a report to council.

The owners of the nine properties include individuals, a family trust, a loan company and a bank.

Joe Teague, one of the individual property owners, said he has reached an agreement with city officials for use of his property, but he declined to say how much he would receive in compensation. The biggest sticking point was that city officials had wanted to put a culvert through his property, he said.

“I would have fought that tooth and nail,” Teague said by phone. “I want to develop that lot.”

The culvert will go through an adjacent property, he said.

The council already has authorized spending almost $20,000 to acquire easements for the project. The city has borrowed $3 million for the construction work.

The work will include the addition of storm drainage facilities, sidewalks, curbs and gutters and the installation of a water line. In addition, the work will include changing the elevation of the roadway and connecting driveways to the new road level.

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