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VTrans plans to acquire land along Route 7

BRANDON - The owners of 58 Brandon properties will soon receive a notice through their county sheriff to inform them that the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) wants to acquire some of their land to make local road improvements. The sheriff will deliver a package containing documents that describe lands the state plans to acquire to reconstruct a 2.7-mile-long segment of Route 7 extending northward from Otter Valley Union High School. The package also will include a copy of the necessity petition VTrans filed with the Rutland Superior Court which explains why acquiring their property is necessary. The Rutland County Sheriff office believes it will take about two weeks to serve all property owners. Deliveries began today. The court will hold a necessity hearing regarding these properties at 9 a.m. April 29 at the Rutland Superior Courthouse at 83 Center Street in Rutland. The court will determine whether the planned acquisition of land serves the public good and is reasonable to serve a public purpose. If the court is satisfied with the state s evidence, the judge will sign an order allowing the state to move forward and acquire the lands. "This hearing is an important milestone in the process leading to the reconstruction of Route 7 through Brandon and Pittsford," said VTrans Secretary Neale Lunderville. "It will set the foundation for us to clear right-of-way and begin utility relocation later this year so we can begin major earth moving in 2009." The April necessity hearing is the first stage of Vermont s two-pronged procedure for acquiring land and right-of-way rights. It will not, however, address the amount of compensation affected land owners will be paid. Once the court grants necessity, VTrans will have each property appraised and enter into negotiations with affected property owners. VTrans officials will attend the necessity hearing to answer questions from affected property owners or other interested parties. All are encouraged to contact VTrans before the hearing to ask questions and seek clarification about project details.

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