Durham County Leaders Vote To Condemn Two Properties
Posted January 10, 2006 9:05 a.m. EST
DURHAM, N.C. — Durham County is looking for more room, and county leaders have decided it will invoke eminent domain to get it. County commissioners are taking Scarborough and Hargett, a funeral home business in Durham, along with an U-Haul business to build a new courthouse.
"I do want to say this has been a very difficult issue for our board," said Ellen Reckhow, chairwoman of the Durham Board of County Commissioners.
After two years of disagreement, commissioners approved the measure in a 3-2 vote.
"Unfortunately when you sit in a place like I sit now, you have to make decisions you'd just as soon not have to make," said county commissioner Lewis Cheek.
John Scarborough II sat silently at Monday's meeting, letting his lawyer speak for him and his funeral home.
"This is going to severely interrupt, it may even terminate, one of the most successful African-American family owned businesses in this state," said attorney Bill Thomas.
In an earlier interview, Scarborough said he was not happy because he has already moved his business twice. He also believes he is not being offered the fair value for his business, which the county estimates to be $1.5 million.
The affected businesses will receive a 30-day notice and in that time, the county and the businesses could arrive at a settlement or end up in court.