Businessman Rick Torstrick asked Harlan Fiscal Court at a recent meeting to donate a small parcel of land in front of his business Harlan Two-Way at Dressen to allow for more parking.
“There is a portion of what was old U.S. 421. From the center of old 421 back to his property line was turned over to the county,” said county Engineer Leo Miller. “From the center of old 421 to the bypass is still highway property right-of-away. What he’s asking is for Harlan County to quick claim him that portion of old right-of-away back to his property line. Mr. Torstrick would then have to go the highway department and say I now own to the center of old 421 and I’d like to purchase your surface right-of-away to U.S. 421 to your control access fence.”
Businessman Billy Johnson, whose family’s property adjoins the Torstrick property asked to see a map of the Torstrick request before the court took any action.
“I want to make sure this doesn’t affect any access to our property,” said Johnson. “We’re not interested in purchasing any land we just want to make sure it doesn’t affect our area. We just want to review this before anything is done.”
Harlan County Judge-Executive Joe Grieshop said the county can’t “give property away.”
“It has to be an equal opportunity situation,” said Grieshop. “It will have to be sold at fair market value.”
Miller said the property will have to be advertised and posted before it can be considered for sale.
Magistrate David Kennedy added the property will first have to be declared surplus before any further action can be taken.
“There are several steps we have to go through. If this gentleman is interested in buying it — so be it,” said Kennedy. “However, if the other gentleman is also interested in that property — so be it.”
Miller said because the property is located in front of the Torstrick property, he will have the option of purchasing it. He said consideration is given to the bordering property owners regarding access.
“The Johnsons also have property that fits that description and the lot line moves on down,” said Grieshop. “Let’s take one step at a time on this. We’ll take those steps slowly and carefully. The first step is we declare the property surplus. Then, there will be a 30-day period for community input.”
A motion was made and seconded to declare the county’s portion of the property surplus and post it as abandoned.
In other court actions:
*Heard the Harlan County Conservation District’s annual report;
*Accepted the sheriff’s official receipt for property tax bills for 2012 unmined coal to begin collection;
*Approved a resolution between participating counties, cities, sheriff’s offices and UNITE;
*Approved a surface deed of conveyance agreement between the fiscal court and Karst Land Company for a parcel of land at Holmes Mill;
*Approved a grant award between fiscal court and the Kentucky Board of Emergency Medical Services in the amount of $10,714.28;
*Approved a proposed Kentucky Department of Agriculture Spay/Neuter grant agreement in the amount of $1,800;
*Approved a memorandum of understanding for the use of the Harlan County E-911 radio system between the Harlan EMS, Fiscal court and the E-911 Board;
*Approved the application for a grant to purchase two balers for the Harlan County Solid Waste Department in the amount of $30,000 with a 25 percent match from the county;
*Approved the advertisement and posting to close Dressen Court Road in Harlan just off U.S. 421:
*Declared a 1999 Ford pickup truck, a 1998 Chevrolet truck and a 1990s Crown Victoria vehicle as surplus. They are then to be scrapped;
*Went into executive session per KRS 61.810 (1.c) and returned with no action taken.
Reach Nola Sizemore at 606-573-4510, ext. 115, email@example.com