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State task force recommends changes to eminent domain law

By Kevin Lavery, KWMU

Jefferson City, MO – The task force says the acquisition of private property should extend beyond economic redevelopment to also cover blight.

Chairman Terry Jarrett says that includes buildings that pose a public health or safety hazard.

"There are legitimate times when a private entity needs to redevelop an area, not because it develops a greater tax revenue, but because there is a situation in that area that is a hazard to the public," Jarrett said.

Missouri grants eminent domain authority to private developers but the task force wants to place it in the hands of elected bodies.

Jarrett says he doesn't expect much backlash to the idea.

"There are a lot of very good developers out there who go through the process the correct way," Jarrett said. "It's the ones that aren't doing it the right way that are going to have a problem and they should have a problem.

The task force will submit its final recommendations to Governor Matt Blunt by the end of the month.