Commissioners to Deed Parcel

Mock News Writing Assignment

REXBURG — Madison County Commissioners unanimously voted to deed a small parcel of city land to Del Ray Barney after a 10-year delay.

On Monday commissioners met with D.J. Barney, son of Del Ray Barney, to resolve a boundary issue that began in 2003 when Del Ray Barney paid to survey his property, located at 433 Airport Road, for possible future development. The survey revealed his fence was built on Rexburg City property, 3 to 5 feet beyond his actual property border, according to original ground markers.

In 2003 Madison County Commissioners considered compensating Del Ray Barney for the land and annexing it into the golf course across the street, but laws prohibit an annex unless the land is contiguous. Commissioners agreed to table the issue.

Del Ray Barney recently made the decision to sell the property and asked his son, D.J. Barney, to present the case before commissioners again.

Before 2003 the land was owned by cattleman Blaine Hendricks, whose corrals were adjacent to the fence in question.

“Blaine said the fence line is correct and has been there forever,” said D.J. Barney.

D.J. Barney said his father feels the only two options for the county are to deed the parcel to him free of charge, or for the county to keep the land, rebuild the fence on the correct property line, and reimburse him for property lost.

Commissioner Todd Smith said the land could be sold to Del Ray Barney, but the process would be arduous.

Surplus county land must go through a process involving appraisal to determine value before it goes up for public auction. If no one bids on the property the county may offer it to Del Ray Barney free of charge. However, if there is any public interest in the property, he may lose it altogether, as auction prices could climb.

“I think it will probably be more costly to the county,” said Commissioner John Weber, referring to probable tax dollar amount needed to put the land up for public auction, “I propose we leave the fence and start proceedings for the deed.”

On behalf of his father D. J. Barney agreed to a $100 reconveyance fee, and an immediate appraisal was scheduled.

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