CONCORD -- A Concord car wash owner said he was told two years ago that his business was going to be taken by eminent domain as part of a major highway project. But with the bull dozers ready to roll in a couple of months, he still has no idea what he will be paid for his property.
Keith Barbee spent 20 years building his business on Poplar Tent Road. He said it is impossible to plan for the future if the Department of Transportation will not tell him how much he will be offered for the property.
I just think the system as it is right now is wrong. It is a slow death, Barbee said.
The DOT told Barbee two years ago that his property would be taken so Poplar Tent Road could be widened and turned into a major access road for a huge new interchange for I-85.
Barbee said he has made numerous phone calls and tried to arrange meetings with the DOT to get an answer but has heard nothing.
They told me they were going to take me. Well ok, I'm going to live with it. Take me, but treat me with respect, he said.
NewsChannel 36 did get through to the DOT and were told that the appraisals along Poplar Tent had been complex. However, spokesperson Jennifer Thompson said the process was wrapping up and Barbee would get an offer next week.
He hopes that is true so that he can try to salvage something out of a business he had worked so hard to build.
It was everything. This was going to be my retirement. It was going to be how I put my kids through school, he said.