Decatur property purchase may be impeded

Decatur’s commission authorized the city to move ahead on purchasing 3.95 acres just west of Dearborn Park for $500,000.

The problem, however, is that someone else claims to have an agreement for the same land. In fact, for several weeks surveyors had been tagging trees on the property.

The land is part of the old George Robinson estate with a total 16 parcels, three facing Chevelle Lane and 13 fronting the unopened right-of-way, a trail the city built several years ago.

“We saw a for sale sign,” said City Manager Peggy Merriss, “so we called the number and came to what we thought was a valid agreement. But then comes this claim from another party saying they have a contract [predating] our contract. It’s a legal matter and I can’t say anything more about it.”

The city doesn’t want the land developed, but instead to remain, “natural, unimproved green space.”