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PHOTO: The stone entryway at the old Sunset Park site. Photo submitted.

By LANDON WOODROOF

Nolensville’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen deferred an item on its agenda Thursday night related to right-of-way acquisition for the long-awaited Sunset Road improvement project.

The town needs to acquire 26 parcels of land to make way for the reconstruction of a nearly two-mile portion of Sunset Road. So far, the town has approved acquisition funding for 16 of those parcels.

On Thursday, the BOMA considered funding for the acquisition of four more parcels, totaling $224,700.

The appraisal of one of those parcels drew some discussion Thursday night that resulted in the deferment.

Parcel 35 encompasses a stone entryway in front of what used to be the Sunset Park baseball field and recreation site. The appraiser valued this parcel of land at $148,500.

Some aldermen wanted to know more about how that number was arrived at.

Vice Mayor Jason Patrick, for instance, drew attention to the fact that $80,000 of that amount was set aside for the stone wall.

“That is an awfully expensive wall, and I really have heartburn over it,” Patrick said.

Alderman Tommy Dugger wondered why the appraisal included prices not just for the parcel of land itself, but for things like trees and the gravel driveway that also sit on the land.

Town Engineer Don Swartz explained that these “are considered improvements on the land.” To acquire a parcel, the town must pay for the price of the land as well as the price of any improvements on that land.

Vice Mayor Patrick said he hated that the wall had to be impacted by the project at all. Could the road be constructed so as to avoid the wall?

Swartz said that unfortunately the road project had to be shifted in the direction of the wall. This shift was due to various constraints, including utility locations.

He also added that he was unable to really dig into the numbers in the appraisal.

“I am incapable of providing you the level of comfort you’re looking for on these valuations,” Swartz told the aldermen.

The board voted to defer the resolution authorizing the use of funds for one month. They hope this will give them time to glean more information from the appraiser about how he arrived at that value for Parcel 35.

Town Attorney Bob Notestine said that the town has closed on three of the right-of-way acquisitions related to the Sunset Road project. A fourth is expected to close Friday.

Town Administrator Ken McLawhon said that the project was moving ahead smoothly and that he expected to see some bid documents for the project in the near future.

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