State has land, owners unpaid - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

State has land, owners unpaid

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June 13, 2007

Smithville --  Some Smithville landowners say they haven't been paid for their property, even though the DOT already took it to build the new Highway 19 bypass.

Curtis Dismuke says when his grandmother, Alice Brown, died, she divided the land between him and fourteen other relatives. Unfortunately, Brown did not have a will that officially dictated who would get the land.

Dismuke says that has delayed his family's payment for the land the DOT needs for the road project. The DOT says it is negotiating with the estate and plans to pay all the heirs a fair price.

Dismuke says all the payments will be delayed until the DOT works out deals with all the family members.   "They had to get in touch with everybody. I think there is maybe one or two that they didn't find, but over a period of time they should have paid the ones they could find."  

Family members appointed Joyce McGriff as the executor of her grandmother's estate.

She lives in Florida, but she told us by phone that the family is seeking payment for about three acres that once belonged to Alice Brown.