City of Newkirk files eminent domain suit for Safety Center property

By Everett Brazil, III

The Newkirk Herald Journal

Newkirk — The city of Newkirk has filed an eminent domain lawsuit regarding a property in the 100 Block of South Maple to make room for the planned Public Safety Center, but the property owners are fighting back, seeking a more suitable amount in the sale of the property.

The city is unable to comment while to suit is in process.

The property in particular is located at the intersection of Eighth Street and Maple, and is owned by Kendra Eads.

According to Jeff Eads, the city offered $18,000 for the property, but the Eads were seeking a larger amount for the sale, saying they had previously valued the property at about $50,000.

The petition was first filed in Kay County District Court Nov. 16. Three disinterested individuals were appointed as commissioners to help find a proper property value. The first hearing was held at the Kay County Courthouse at 1:30 p.m. Dec. 10. The commissioners filed their reports on Dec. 17, setting a property value at $32,500. The Eads family was offered 30 days to determine whether they wish to proceed in the case.

“I’m going to move on with the trial,” Jeff said.

The next hearing at the Kay County Courthouse has not been set.

The Public Safety Center is a planned facility by the city of Newkirk to house both the Newkirk Fire Department and EMS service, along with the Newkirk Police Department in one facility, which will also provide housing for all emergency vehicles and other equipment. The city of Newkirk received a property in the same block from the Kaw Nation, due to damage to their facility from the May 2019 tornado.

The city will also receive about $3.2 million from the Doug and Sandra Cline Trust during the construction of the facility.

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