In regard to eminent domain and in the revisions being made [in the laws], lawmakers need to keep in mind that not only homeowners are affected. Business owners need to be aware they could be affected or lose their business.
In May 1984, I opened an Exxon service station with a wrecker service. The station was next to I-24. In October 2001 I lost my business, our home, my wife, and had to file bankruptcy.
In a road-widening project by the Tennessee Department of Transportation I was affected by the project. I tried on several occasions to find answers as how would this affect my business. I was told by TDOT the underground storage tanks and gas pumps would be removed and I would still have my business. After the road was finished, I tried but failed at trying to run a service station without gasoline to sell.
I would like to see our state representatives pass some type of legislation that would protect all business owners and would allow lawsuits against the state for wrongful deeds. The way TDOT handled this is not right, but under current law, I have no choice.
My case is more complicated than most. I presently have a trial pending against TDOT, but whatever the outcome, it will not bring back what our family has lost.
I am sending this letter out to all our state representatives in pleading that Tennessee step up and do the right thing for all homeowners and business owners.
I would be willing to sit down and discuss with our lawmakers options that may be made available to prevent this from happening to future businesses.
Steven W. Taylor
Burt Burgen Road
Daily News Journal: http://dnj.midsouthnews.com