The Jasper County Commission will use eminent domain in an effort to obtain land behind the county jail.
It's land that is perfectly placed for an expansion of the jail.
Even though there's no definitive plan in the works, the attorney for the commission, Norman Rouse, says the land is wanted for an eventual expansion.
The property to the east of the jail measures nearly 3/4 of an acre. It contains two homes both built in the late 1800's that are vacant.
Both have boarded windows and one was fire damaged.
County commissioners offered the owner $15,000 for the property last year but he refused to sell.
Now the commission is beginning the condemnation process that puts a petition before a judge. If the judge deems the land is a public need, three separate appraisers will be used to come up with a fair market value for the property that commissioners say has been vacant for a while.
"But it certainly is in a state of disrepair and so it seemed like the logical thing to do and makes good sense and try to pursue those two properties and purchase those for future needs," says Jasper County Commissioner Darius Adams. "We obviously don't have anything on the plate right now but it just made a lot of sense to try and acquire those properties since they were available."
The property is owned by Noe Salas who operates a grocery near the Carthage square. He says he is unaware of the proceedings.
The county's assessed valuation of the land with the homes is $56,000.