Anyone who has driven on Frank Scott Parkway, especially at rush hour, knows that the intersection at Old Collinsville Road needs widening. Unfortunately for homeowners Ken and Sheila Cope, adding a lane means they will lose some of their property.
This battle has been in court for almost two years. The Copes think the county isn't offering enough; the county thinks they want too much.
We don't know what a judge will decide is a reasonable price for the land, but it's clear that this prolonged legal fight benefits no one except the lawyers. The Copes estimate they've already spent $21,400 on legal fees. At what point will they be paying more to their attorney than the difference between what they want and what the county has offered?
The county legal fees aren't known, but the delay is costing not only money but time for motorists stuck in traffic. At what point will the county be paying more in dollars and lost opportunities than what they are willing to pay the Copes?
Compromise isn't easy in a contentious negotiation like this, but it's to both sides' advantage to settle this soon, out of court. Neither side needs the costs or the headaches involved, and this has dragged on far too long already.
Agree on an independent arbitrator, settle on a fair price and move on.