Homes razed for police crime lab and substation - KCTV5

Homes razed for police crime lab and substation

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More than 60 families are forced to find new places to live after finding out their homes are on the chopping block. It's all to make room for a new crime lab and the Kansas City Police Department's east patrol division substation.

Shirley Merriwether sits on her front porch just as her mother did for years.

"It's been a pretty stable neighborhood. We don't have a lot but we do have some vacant houses now but we don't have a lot of people moving in and moving out. Once they move in, they usually stay," said Merriwether. 

Over the summer, she has put built the new porch, put in new insulation, new siding and is working on a new kitchen. Merriwether was one of more than 60 people that received a letter detailing what would happen to her home.

Sgt. Mark Stinson with the KCMO Police Department's Capital Improvements Unit told KCTV5's Nima Shaffe they asked for the community's input. After receiving input from more than 60 residents, the department compiled a list of more than 25 viable locations for the new crime lab and substation. The decision was then left to city officials.

Both the new crime lab and substation will be built in the area from 26th Street to 27th Street and from Brooklyn Avenue to Prospect Avenue. It's a move that impacts more than 65 occupied homes in the area, of which more than 30 of those homes are owner-occupied.

The city is paying for three independent appraisals of each home, and the city will accept the highest of the three appraised values.

While some residents are unhappy with the move, others support it.

"I'm anticipating jobs, positions and things for the young folks because that's what they need.  They need to have some jobs and training facilities which they said they were going to offer.  So if that's the position they want to take, I'm 100 percent for that," said James Hadley.

Three meetings are being held with the residents of this neighborhood on Sept. 7 to answer any questions they may have.

Stinson said the process of acquiring these properties will not be quick. By spring of 2012, the land acquisition should be complete.

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