Local News

Family Business Threatened by DOT Project

Posted March 19, 1998

— Our lives often center around family, finances and faith. One woman is fighting for all three: a family business, a financial crisis and faith that she'll win against all odds.

Cagle Furniture has been at the intersection of Highway 87 and 24 for more than 30 years. The family business would like to stay another 30 years. But now, the state is fighting for the property it sits on, so it can go ahead and widen Highway 87 from Sanford to Spring Lake.

No one knows how much the road needs work better than Carletta Cagle. Her son was left disabled after an accident on Highway 87. Even though the 70 year old supports making the road a four-lane, the project could cost her the family business.

"They insulted me when they said the business was worth $138,500," Cagle says.

That is what the state Department of Transportation is willing to pay her to acquire Cagle Furniture's 14,000 square foot building and five acres of land needed to widen 87. The Cagle family says at that price, they could never rebuild.

Senior Right of Way Agent, Reggie Abbott says two property appraisers surveyed the land for the state. He thinks the offer is fair.

"A lot of times you get into personal feelings and this kind of thing," Abbott explains. "It's hard to put a value on. It's hard for people to move. Change is hard to accept."

"It's not the memories and love," Michael Cagle says. "It's the cost to rebuild, and they don't care."

Under the law, the state can only pay market value for property and not replacement costs. That is a law the Cagle family would like to see changed. They have written to lawmakers and the Governor, but in the meantime, the state has condemned the store. They must be out by November.

Cagle says she's like for Governor Hunt to stand by here and watch an American dream distroyed.

The Cagle's are fighting the land acquisition in court. They will request a jury trial. That is their right by law. As far as rebuilding, initial estimates are coming in at about $1 million dollars. And because so much of Highway 87 is part of this project, they would have to relocate miles away.

Not only are they worried about customers, but also about losing furniture lines because of territory regulations.

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