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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 

Why is the Idaho Transportation Department building more highways?

Why does the Idaho Transportation Department need my property?

What are the steps involved in the highway construction process?

What are the Idaho Transportation Department's responsibilities to me or my tenants?

When will I be contacted regarding acquisition and/or relocation?

Will I receive a fair price for my property?

Will I receive a written offer for my property?

What if there are additional title expenses?

What must I do to reach a settlement with the Idaho Transportation Department?

May I retain buildings or other improvements?

How long do I have to vacate once the property is acquired?

What if an agreement is not reached with the Idaho Transportation Department?

Who do I contact if I have additional questions?

 

Why is the Idaho Transportation Department building more highways?

For Economic Development: Idaho's economy depends on transportation. Our stability is vitally linked to a modern highway system. Through better highways, tourism and recreation are enhanced, merchant trade expands, markets are open to farmers and industrial and residential development are encouraged. The Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) wants to provide better roads into the 21st century. For Your Safety: The Idaho Transportation Department is committed to safety, both on and off the highways. New or improved highways with better sight distance, wider driving lanes, and easier grades enhance our lives and property. Good engineering is one of the most effective ways to improve safety on our highways.  

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Why does the Idaho Transportation Department need my property?

Modern highway engineering involves long-range planning to assure new highways will serve Idahoans today and in the future. The coordinated efforts of planning personnel, right-of-way agents, design engineers and traffic engineers are necessary to establish the location and design that will be of greatest benefit and safety to the public. The final alternative selected takes into account the public's input, feasible engineering, safety and economic standpoints and the least amount of injury or inconvenience to the public. A certain amount of private property must be acquired to provide Idahoans with safer and more modern highways. When property is selected to be acquired, the facts obtained during the planning stages have shown no better location for the highway. The Idaho Transportation Department seeks your help, understanding and cooperation in this manner.  

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What are the steps involved in the highway construction process?

1. Congestion, safety and need established by the Idaho Transportation Department.

2. Traffic studies and other planning conducted.

3. Alternate route studies collected.

4. Preliminary relocation studies collected and evaluated.

5. Environmental impact study prepared.

6. Preliminary engineering accomplished and public hearings held.

7. Location of corridor approved.

8. Design and detailed plans prepared.

9. Contacts made with property owners by right-of-way personnel.

10. Real estate market studies, evaluations, appraisals and detailed relocation studies conducted.

11. Comprehensive appraisal and evaluation review by right-of-way representatives conducted.

12. Negotiations begin. Needed property acquired by agreed settlement with owner. Relocation assistance is provided when        applicable.

13. Payment made to property owner and title is transferred.

14. Condemnation of property instituted, if necessary.

15. Real Property tax reimbursement is paid.

16. Relocation of all persons required to move by right-of-way acquisition.

17. Highway project advertised to contractors to submit their bids.

18. Bids reviewed by department members and contracts awarded by the Idaho Transportation Department.

19. Highway is constructed.

20. Highway is opened for public use. It takes up to seven years from the time planning begins to the time road construction starts.  

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What are the Idaho Transportation Department's responsibilities to me or my tenants?

The Idaho Department of Transportation must: · Treat all property owners and tenants impartially without regard to race, color, religion, sex or national origin. · Fully explain an owner's legal rights. · Pay just compensation based on a reviewed and approved appraisal in exchange for property rights. · Furnish relocation advisory assistance payments in accordance with federal and state regulations.  

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When will I be contacted regarding acquisition and relocation?

When a route is selected and approved and the highway design is complete, all affected property owners are contacted by a right-of-way agent. In many instances, this is the first official contact the property owner has with a representative of the Idaho Transportation Department. Right of Way employees are trained to explain plans and advise how a proposed highway project will affect property. The Right-of-Way agent must get important information from you on the initial visit. This information includes property history, accuracy of the property lines and buildings as shown on the plans and property areas to make certain the property has been properly evaluated. The right-of-way agent will spend time with you to get this information, answer questions concerning the right-of-way acquisition procedure and inform you of your legal rights. A relocation agent also will contact you if you are required to move from your residence, business, farm or nonprofit organization. You will receive a relocation brochure. The relocation brochure will explain advisory assistance, payment of moving or incidental costs, replacement housing payments, rent supplements or down payment supplements, if applicable.  

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Will I receive a fair price for my property?

In most cases, the Idaho Transportation Department will have an appraisal or evaluation made on each property affected by a highway project. The department employs both qualified staff and fee appraisers. The appraiser makes an independent and impartial appraisal based on an inspection of the property. You will be given the opportunity to accompany the appraiser on this inspection. In making the appraisal, the appraiser investigates and analyzes recent sales of similar properties in the area. The appraiser also compiles and obtains information concerning building costs, rental values and all other necessary information to provide an accurate estimate of the fair market value of your property. If the department needs only a segment of the property, the amount of compensation you will be offered is the difference between the fair market value of the entire property, immediately before the acquisition, and the fair market value of the remaining property immediately after the acquisition. If property is acquired in its entirety, it is the department's responsibility to pay full market value for the property. Depending on the complexity of the situation and the nature of the right-of-way acquisition, an evaluation may be made, instead of an appraisal, to estimate the fair market value of the property being acquired. This evaluation will involve an analysis of recent sales of similar properties in the area and will not require contact with you prior to the evaluation being made. When the appraisal or evaluation is complete, right-of-way representatives will make a complete review to make certain that all elements affecting the property value are considered and an accurate estimate of value is established.  

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Will I receive a written offer for my property?

An offer, the full amount of the approved appraisal or evaluation, will be made to you by a right-of-way agent. The offer will be confirmed in writing along with the initial written purchase offer. This breakdown is helpful for tax purposes. You will be given a written statement which includes: The amount offered as just compensation. In the case of a partial acquisition, the compensation for the real property to be acquired and compensation for damages and benefits, if any, to the remaining real property will be separately stated. A description and location identification of the property to be acquired. An identification of buildings, structures and/or other improvements (including removable building equipment and trade fixtures) which are considered to be part of the real property for which the offer of just compensation is made. Where appropriate, the statement will identify any separately held ownership interest in the property, for example, a tenant-owned improvement and indicate that such interest is not covered by the offer. Uneconomic Remnant: An uneconomic remnant is the remaining piece of property with which you will be left that will have little or no value to you. If the acquisition of only a portion of a property would leave you with an uneconomic remnant, the department will offer to acquire the uneconomic remnant along with the portion of the property needed for the project.  

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What if there are additional title expenses?

The Idaho Transportation Department will record all conveyance documents and they will also pay any administrative costs for the release of any emcumbrances required for the property being acquired. The Idaho Transporation Department will also reimburse the pro-rata portion of any prepaid real property taxes.  

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What must I do to reach a settlement with the Idaho Transportation Department?

If you accept the offer by the Idaho Department of Transportation and can convey clear title, you may expect payment within 30 days from the time necessary documents are signed. It is your responsibility, however, to satisfy any outstanding liens and encumbrances on the property. These encumbrances are normally paid at the time the department's attorney or right-of-way agent closes the transaction. Usually the right-of-way agent handling your claim will secure a release from the lien holder prior to closing the claim when there is a partial acquisition of property. This procedure will enable you to receive early payment of the claim. You are eligible to be reimbursed for a portion of your current real property taxes pro-rated on time and value of the area acquired by the department. You should submit the paid tax receipts to the right-of-way agent handling your claim. These receipts will be forwarded to the central right-of-way office in Boise for pro-rating and payment. The sale of property for public purposes comes under the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) classification of "Involuntary Conversion". It is suggested that you contact the nearest IRS office to learn of the requirements in your case with regard to federal income taxes. An advantage of reaching a settlement with the department is that you receive full prompt payment. You will not pay real estate commissions, title insurance, abstract costs or legal or appraisal fees unless you hire an attorney or appraiser. When applicable, you will receive payment for moving expenses. In some instances, you will receive replacement housing payments as determined by state and federal regulations.  

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May I retain buildings or other improvements?

If there are buildings and/or other improvements located on the land needed for right-of-way purposes, you will be given first option to retain these improvements. You may keep the buildings and/or improvements considered as real estate at the appraised retention value and you may move them to another location of your choice. You may choose to move the buildings and/or improvements on remaining property outside of the right-of-way limits or you may choose to move the buildings and/or improvements to a site located away from the proposed highway project.  

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How long do I have to vacate once the property is acquired?

If you are displaced, you will be given a minimum of 90 days written notice to vacate the property.

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What if an agreement is not reached with the Idaho Transportation Department?

It is the Idaho Transportation Department's policy to make every reasonable effort to acquire property by negotiations. In the event the department is unable to reach an agreement with a property owner, the department has the power to request a court to order possession and to establish the amount the department must pay for property. The department will institute the necessary court procedures in the county where the property is located. The department promptly will deposit the full amount of estimated just compensation with the Clerk of Court when the condemnation proceedings are filed. If at any time, after the action is instituted, you decide to accept the deposited amount in full settlement of the claim, you need to notify the right-of-way agent negotiating your claim. The agent will see the action is terminated through the Attorney General's Office without cost to you. If you wish to contest the compensation amount, you may secure the services of an attorney, but must file an answer to the complaint filed by the department.

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Page Last Modified: 1/18/2005 12:27:26 PM

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Idaho Transportation Department
3311 W. State Street · P.O. Box 7129
Boise, ID 83707-1129