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SBC to condemn Midlothian business

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The Ellis County Press

MIDLOTHIAN - Billy and Renee McElheney found out the hard way cities aren't the only entities with the power to condemn.

Southwestern Bell telephone, a public utility with rights to condemn property, won a court case last week and will proceed with condemnation of the McElheney's Automation Technical Support business, located south of SBC on Avenue F, just one block

west of downtown Midlothian.

Though the McElheney's have appealed, SBC can still, according to court testimony, move forward with razing the Automation building - which was once the Midlothian post office - or begin to move equipment in.

There is a check for $500,000 'waiting' at the county courthouse, according to Rees as settlement for the condemnation.

Rees said they just want a fair market value.

The McElheney's said several months ago $1 million would be their asking price for the land, the building and renovation costs.

His past renovation costs alone exceeded $500,000, Billy McElheney said.

Meanwhile, Automation has sought another location near the proposed Walnut Grove and Highway 287-business park.

However, according to Rees, just one acre in that portion of town goes for $250,000 - not enough to buy the land and build a new facility.

SBC officials could not be reached for comment.

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