LINCOLN, Ark. (KFTA) — For the last 50 years, the City of Lincoln thought it owned the city’s square and the community building next to it…but come to find out, there isn’t any documentation to prove it.
The Lincoln City Council was trying to decide how to regulate who can and can’t use the community building at a recent meeting, and when the council members asked, “Do we even own the building? —they didn’t know the answer.
So what is the answer? According to Lincoln’s City Attorney Steve Zega, the answer is “yes” but not on paper.
Zega said the property was last titled in the name of Paul Easby, but before he died, he sold the property to a J-W Rodgers — but he said this paperwork was never formally filed with the county.
According to Zega, the property either belongs to the heirs of Easby or Rodgers, but since it’s been almost 100 years, Zega said it would be nearly impossible to try and find the families — so the next step is to go to a judge and ask if it be declared that the square belongs to the City of Lincoln.
He said the only problem with that plan is he needs the city council’s blessing to go to court for action.
“I don’t think it’s going to affect the average citizen of Lincoln or Washington County that much it’s just something for good reason the council wants to put right and I’m gonna help them do that,” he said.
Zega said there’s a possibility they can go to court and lose, or someone could come forward to claim the property.
If this does happen, the city can condemn the square — but he hopes that’s the last resort.
Zega said this is likely misdocumented information.
Zega’s advice to go before a judge will be presented to the Lincoln City Council on January 21.