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Mowing error may have led to $950,000 land purchase in Newport News
Daily Press ^ | February 16, 2012 | Joe Lawlor

Posted on 02/22/2012 4:29:00 AM PST by csvset

NEWPORT NEWS — It might have been the most expensive mowing job in city history — as Newport News is now paying $950,000 to buy a property it shouldn't have mowed.

This weedy tale began in summer 2010, when City Farm inmates on a work detail for the Codes Compliance Department mistakenly mowed property off of Jefferson Avenue. The city was responding to a high weeds complaint, but did not realize that the 37-acre property in Denbigh was protected wetlands, officials said.

"After the fact, we found out that it was wetlands and we shouldn't have mowed it," said Harold Roach, the city's codes compliance director.

Newport News this week purchased the property for $950,000, partly due to the five acres that are needed to secure the legal right-of-way to build Atkinson Boulevard, a new $52 million road that will connect Warwick Boulevard and Jefferson Avenue by extending Atkinson Way from Warwick to Jefferson.

But also factoring into the city's decision to purchase the land was the mow job, officials said.

City Engineer Everett Skipper said once Newport News mowed the land, it became responsible for monitoring the wetlands on the property, which was owned by NewDunn Associates.

Skipper said the city was on the hook to pay at least $7,000 per year for the next several years for wetlands monitoring, which includes taking an inventory of the plants and shrubs, checking the water levels and testing the water chemistry of the site. Newport News could have also been required to pay NewDunn Associates for other costs, Skipper said.

When asked whether the city would have purchased the entire 37 acres — or just the five acres needed for the Atkinson Boulevard right-of-way — had the property not been mistakenly mowed, Skipper said it "would have been a tough call."

(Excerpt) Read more at dailypress.com ...


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; US: Virginia
KEYWORDS: bs; mowing; scam; wetlands
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Skipper said the city was on the hook to pay at least $7,000 per year for the next several years for wetlands monitoring, which includes taking an inventory of the plants and shrubs, checking the water levels and testing the water chemistry of the site.

What a scam.

1 posted on 02/22/2012 4:29:04 AM PST by csvset
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To: csvset

Obviously someone is getting a kickback somewhere.


2 posted on 02/22/2012 4:35:11 AM PST by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: csvset
"Skipper said ..."

..."I know all about "wet"."


3 posted on 02/22/2012 4:36:25 AM PST by BlueLancer (KOMEN PINK: The color of the water in the basin after Pilate finished washing his hands)
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To: csvset
pay at least $7,000 per year for the next several years for wetlands monitoring, which includes taking an inventory of the plants and shrubs, checking the water levels and testing the water chemistry of the site.

Is it any wonder that our country is going to hell in a hand basket?

4 posted on 02/22/2012 4:36:54 AM PST by Graybeard58 (Eccl 10 v. 19 A feast is made for laughter, and wine maketh merry: but money answereth all things.)
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To: csvset

I have lived my entire life close to the water, and I can say without doubt, that mowing that land didn’t harm a thing, In a month the grasses that grow close to the waters edge would have come back up as thick as ever, maybe thicker.


5 posted on 02/22/2012 4:45:01 AM PST by Venturer
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To: Graybeard58

taking an inventory of the plants and shrubs,...I want that job. “ Yup, weed here, #25, weed here, #26, Shrub here,#60...).


6 posted on 02/22/2012 4:46:09 AM PST by Safetgiver (I'd rather die under a free American sky than live under a Socialist regime.)
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To: csvset

Another taxpayer bails out private developer update!


7 posted on 02/22/2012 4:50:08 AM PST by liberateUS
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To: csvset

This is not nearly severe enough a penalty. The meddling leftists have stepped in their own trap and need to be removed from office.


8 posted on 02/22/2012 4:57:45 AM PST by Steamburg (The contents of your wallet is the only language Politicians understand.)
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To: driftdiver
The entire wetland fiasco is a kickback. We have them all over the place and they just attract mosquitos and birds with their feces. Had a big fight with them years back.

Had to talk with some Colonel in Buffalo NY. When I hung up, I called him by his first name to "stick it to him".

9 posted on 02/22/2012 4:57:53 AM PST by Sacajaweau
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To: Safetgiver

Don’t forget the photographs. And make sure you get a photo of the wheeping willow for your report.


10 posted on 02/22/2012 4:59:30 AM PST by Sacajaweau
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To: csvset
Alright, let's get beyond the ridiculous notion that the city has to pay $7k per year to “monitor” the wetlands, and instead let's analyze the financials:

“We are on the hook for $7k per year, so let's spend $950,000 instead.”

11 posted on 02/22/2012 5:01:13 AM PST by Yo-Yo (Is the /sarc tag really necessary?)
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To: csvset

Bwahahaha! Government enforced labor causes purchase of government protected land with...your money.


12 posted on 02/22/2012 5:03:06 AM PST by the invisib1e hand (whomever told fat black women they were sexy was lying.)
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To: Venturer
There's "close to the water" and then there's "close to the Bay" or "in the Tidewater". The wetlands merge into the tidal areas ~ and there's not all that clear a delineation between the marsh and the dryland areas ~ although there are exceptions ~ particularly along the Potomac where one side of the river may be a marshland and mudflat and the other side a flowing stream with oceangoing ship draft depths.

It is simply not possible for these guys to have failed to notice that this was a protected wetland ~ that's a COMMON condition all around Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries ~ no one is that stupid!

This is a problem with allowing New Yorkers to move to Virginia ~ they see a protected wetland and think it's a bunch of weeds and start whining. I'd track down the complainant and stick her with the cost!

13 posted on 02/22/2012 5:04:27 AM PST by muawiyah
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To: csvset
mowed property off of Jefferson Avenue.

Here in Michigan, weeds grow back really, really fast....

14 posted on 02/22/2012 5:06:58 AM PST by Hot Tabasco (The only solution to this primary is a shoot out! Last person standing picks the candidate)
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To: Sacajaweau
We are talking about Tidewater Virginia, not inland Great Lakes where they don't have tides!

The Ocean goes up and down twice a day ~ nothing you can do about it, and not all shorelines are white sand beaches.

15 posted on 02/22/2012 5:07:13 AM PST by muawiyah
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To: csvset
The whole "Wetlands" issue is a scam, by Enviro-Wacko's, wherebly any area that is low, with puddles of water, is somehow gotta be "protected", when, in fact, it means NOTHING as long as drainage is maintained without un-do burdening of neighboring property.

When the "Wetlands" canard doesn't work, they'll find some goofy slug or insect or animal that is declared "Endangered" and stop useage of land one way or another.

Last, but certainly not least, is the over-used Declarations of vast areas as "National Park Land" by the BLM, to prevent useage, mostly in cases of mineral deposits interfering with a Donor's interest, and eliminating competition. This is what has happened in the Energy business (no drilling or mining), the logging industry, pipeline building, etc.

FOLLOW THE MONEY!

16 posted on 02/22/2012 5:07:17 AM PST by traditional1
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LET'S PUT THIS THING IN OVERDRIVE,
AND BRING THIS FREEPATHON HOME!



We're almost there
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Honk if you love Free Republic


17 posted on 02/22/2012 5:08:51 AM PST by deoetdoctrinae (Gun-free zones are playgrounds for felons)
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To: Sacajaweau

You know, there is a map of New York’s Central Park that claims to have every tree and large shrub identified by species and located on the correct place via GPS coordinates. Beautiful artwork. Reminds me of the beauty end existential pointlessness of the Hindu sandworks. Must be a real pain to take inventory after every storm.


18 posted on 02/22/2012 5:15:08 AM PST by battlecry
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To: traditional1

In America, before the communists took over, a wetland was called a swamp.


19 posted on 02/22/2012 5:15:41 AM PST by Reeses
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To: driftdiver

“Obviously someone is getting a kickback somewhere.”

My guess is former Mayor Joe Frank is involved.


20 posted on 02/22/2012 5:16:47 AM PST by wolfman23601
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