Extending Valley Mall Boulevard Means Some People Have to MovePosted: Updated:
Union Gap - Union Gap City Council gives the okay for the Transportation Department to buy up land to extend Valley Mall Boulevard, but there will be a domino effect... Now people who live in the area will have to move out.
Many people who live along Pioneer Street did not know the city had approved the land purchase for the Valley Mall Boulevard extension until getting a knock on the door from KNDO.
"I wasn't aware of that," says Debbie Matson. She and her husband have lived for 23 years in a house at the intersection of Cornell Avenue and Pioneer Street. That's where Valley Mall Boulevard will begin to curve around the airport when it's built.
"It's going to be difficult to move, but since we've known about it for so long, we're ready," says Matson.
While the Matsons did not know about the latest step in the plan to extend Valley Mall Boulevard, they were contacted about moving years ago. They're actually looking forward to moving to the country, but not all their neighbors are interested in moving. They're comfortable and concerned about getting fair value for their property.
"Some are excited. Some are not. We've been here long time. Now they'll have to pick up roots and move," says Matson.
The DOT has been contracted by Union Gap to buy the land and handle any relocation with city money. They say they will use appraisal and general market information to make an offer on a home. Anyone who loses his or her home has the right to be relocated. The city will pay moving expenses for any move within 50-miles. People who are forced to move have the right to live in a home with comparable amenities. In some cases, the city will pay more to make sure a person or family can live in a comparable home.