Property Acquisition Process
Overview of the Process
DESIGN SHOWS NEED FOR PROPERTY RIGHTS
The Project Designers (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Diversion Authority consultants, or the P3 Developer) inform the Program Management Consultant (PMC) of required property rights needed for the Project.
DIVERSION AUTHORITY APPROVAL TO BEGIN
The Diversion Authority Finance Committee reviews the need for property rights, along with the budget, and if approved, approves a Land Acquisition Directive. Cass County Joint Water Resource District (CCJWRD) is the designated acquiring agent for property rights in North Dakota for the Project. The City of Moorhead and Clay County will form a Joint Powers entity (the MCCJPA) to acquire property rights in Minnesota.
INITIAL CONTACT WITH PROPERTY OWNER
The PMC directs Land Agents, who are contracted to CCJWRD or MCCJPA to make initial contact with property owners, and serve as a point of contact through the acquisition and relocation process. The Land Agents will guide the property owners throughout the process.
RIGHTS OF ENTRY REQUESTED TO SURVEY PROPERTY
A Right of Entry may be needed to conduct a boundary survey, which defines the exact location of the necessary property rights.
DETERMINATION OF FAIR MARKET VALUE
An appraisal of the property rights required for the project is ordered from a qualified and licensed appraiser. The appraisal must follow state and federal standards. The draft appraisal report is submitted for review to ensure consistency of methodology, quality assurance, and conformance with state and federal standards.
OFFER OF JUST COMPENSATION
The reviewed appraisal report and the value of Just Compensation is approved by the CCJWRD or MCCJPA in accordance with state and federal law prior to submitting an offer of Just Compensation to the property owner.
RELOCATION & REESTABLISHMENT BENEFITS
If the property rights require acquisition of a residence, relocation benefits will also be offered to the displaced person(s). Relocation benefits include the cost to move into a similar home that is decent, safe, and sanitary. If the property rights require acquisition of a commercial property the relocation benefits will also be available to assist with the reestablishing the business.
PURCHASE AGREEMENT AND NEGOTIATIONS
The Land Agent will present a Purchase Agreement to the property owner for review and consideration. The Land Agent will work with property owners to review the Purchase Agreement and negotiate the most equitable acquisition terms for all parties involved. If the owner accepts the offer, the purchase agreement is signed and a closing date is set.