The sign in the Walker’s front yard reads: “Welcome to Springdale, where they steal your land and ruin your dreams.”
“The purpose of the sign was to let everybody know that there are a lot of people losing a lot more than just a little bit of land,” says Alice Walker.
As crews began to widen Wagon Wheel Road from two to five lanes, the Walkers had to tear down the business they built next to their home.
“This is where we were going to have our last home and have our business next door. That’s what we wanted to do, we’ve been looking for a place to be able to do that for several years and we finally thought we had it,” Walker says.
The city offered the Walkers $117,750 as fair compensation for the land it took.
The Walkers rejected the offer, and now both parties are headed to court.
Senior Deputy City Attorney Ernest Cate says the city used the same equation it always does to determine the amount of fair compensation. Cate says the city even waited an extra three months before taking possession of the land.
The Walkers say they are not trying to stand in the way of progress, they just want what’s fair.
“I would like them to treat us how they would want to be treated if the roles were reversed,” Walker says, “I just want to be treated fair.”
The court system will ultimately decide what is fair.
No trial date is set.