City considering eminent domain purchase

By Andy Jackson: CNJ staff writer

City of Clovis officials want to build a drainage ditch on Daniel Griego’s property. But the life-long Clovis resident said he doesn’t want to sell.
Today the City Commission will discuss purchasing the property anyway under the power of eminent domain.

The city proposes a 30-foot drainage ditch be built along an alley of Rodeo Drive to Humphrey Road.

Clovis would acquire 1.13 acres of Griego’s land and replace a fence for $22,750, according to the city proposal.

“Naturally I don’t want to give my property up. … I think it’s wrong that they can just take it,” Griego said.

City Manager Joe Thomas said the city and Griego have tried to come to an agreement over the last three years, but have not been successful.
Griego said the city didn’t return his call regarding an unspecified proposal that he submitted in September.

Griego, 58, has owned his 15-acre farm with a barn at 1317 Lea St. since 1987, he said.

Griego said he’s noticed drainage problems around his property, but isn’t sure the proposed ditch will solve the issue.

The city doesn’t commonly utilize the power of eminent domain to acquire property — there have been two or three acquisitions in the last couple of years, Thomas said.

Griego said the city’s authority to take property should only be used when it’s instituted “fairly and equally,” he said.

Griego said his property is an investment to fund his retirement, and he doesn’t want to lose out.

“They’re taking a chunk of it,” Griego said.

Griego said an attorney will represent him at today’s meeting.

Other business at today’s meeting:

• The city will vote on whether to spend $1,500 on video and recording equipment to monitor traffic at the roundabout on Llano Estacado Boulevard and Norris Street. The camera would be set up at Faith Family Church, which has agreed to mount and house the system.

• Shogun Japanese Steakhouse wants to serve beer and wine, but it’s too close to Legacy Life Family Church to obtain a license. The city will discuss the restaurant’s request to waive the restriction, which doesn’t allow liquor-selling establishments to be located within 300 feet of a church.

• The city will discuss a resolution asking the Public Regulation Commission to minimize resident hardships caused by increased utility fees.

Meetings watch
• The Clovis City Commission, 5:15 p.m., today, Assembly Room, 321 Connelly Street.