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City, Farmer at Odds Over Road Project
CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS 2/FOX 28) -- It's seen 26 presidents, world wars, and 3 different centuries.
In short, Bob Divishek's family farm has been around for...
"135 years...that's a long time," Divishek says.
A special plaque outside his home honors the hundred year distinction.
"We just try to keep it going, keep it in the family," Divishek said.
Divishek lives right on 76th avenue near Prairie Heights Elementary - an area the city says, that has long needed improvement.
"That is a heavily congested street in poor condition," said Doug Wilson, manager of the street's improvement project.
The city wants to start with alignment.
"Align the street to the south and the north so that safe left turns can be made," Wilson says.
However, that means taking a chunk out of Divishek's land.
"They can build all the roads they want as long as it's on their side of the street, leave us alone" Divishek said.
The city is offering him more than $8,000 for about a 1/3 an acre, but he says money isn't the full issue.
"They can come here and say we'll give you this much, thank you sign here and take our land."
Divishek wonders why the city didn't pursue other options, like moving the road on the opposite side.
"They gave us an estimate - $20,000 to move the utilities, which is kinda high," Divishek said. "But there's a lot more utilities on our side of the street."
The city says it's the best way to go.
"The option that we are pursuing now is the least cost best long term solution," Wilson said.
As he finds unique ways to voice his disapproval, Divishek is attempting to hold on to every piece of his family's legacy.
"Hasn't been for sale, and we don't plan on it being for sale."
Wilson says they are doing all they can to negotiate with Divishek right up until the October deadline.
That's when the city would have a condemnation hearing, after which it will be up to the city to decide whether or not to take the piece of land.