Council hears request from Sunshine owner
Tamara Powers’ cries to the city council to not use a section of her property for the Greenway were heard, but it was a bit too late.
Powers, who owns Sunshine Oaks farm, said she thought document she signed four years ago was to allow the city the right to survey her property so it could qualify for a federal grant to continue constructing the Greenway, not the right to actually acquire the land.
Powers said she and her then-husband signed the papers with no legal representation.
“This is how it was told to us,” Powers said. “We were told they were on a limited time to get it surveyed.”
The document, signed Feb. 2, 2007 by Powers and her husband, says both parties “hereby authorize the City of Madison, its agents, employees, and contractors to enter on the acquired right of way knows as Right of Way Tract Numbers 10 and 12 of the Bradford Creek Greenway Project immediately for the purpose of constructing the subject project.”
Gary Chenoweth, Madison’s director of engineering, said Powers signed the document, which gave the city the right to use part of her land for the Greenway.
Powers said she isn’t opposed to the construction of the walking trail on her property. She’s opposed to where it would divide her land.
“It needs to go on the back the property line or down the front so it won’t fence the horses away from boarding or water supply,” Powers said.
She said the Greenway would cut off the water supply to a pasture containing horses on the farm’s west side.
“They not only drink the water, but they use it to cool off when they’re overheated,” she said.
Powers also cited the safety of the farm’s animals and children, who take riding lessons.
She asked the city to reconsider the direction of the path, but it’s too little, too late, according to Chenoweth.
“This project is getting federal funds and it requires rigid procedures for approval,” he said. “Unfortunately, at this stage of this game, we are under construction. We’re in a position where we can’t make changes. There is already have an environmental layout that approves this plan.”
Chenoweth said the city council gave the go-ahead to condemn the land in 2008, but the city has been attempting an “amicable agreement” with Powers.
“We’re at a point where they’re ready to build and we can’t put it off any longer,” Chenoweth said. “The chance to rework something is zero unless the city is prepared to pay the $1 million for the process. “
Powers said she is willing to donate four acres of another section of her property to accommodate the Greenway, but Mayor Paul Finley said in order to obtain the federal grants, the city had to submit a specific plan and there is no option to change those plans.
Finley did say if water was Powers’ main concern, the city could help excavate the land to provide a water source to those horses in the fourth pasture.