Gilbert citizen thanks council for movement along Western Canal

Gilbert Municipal Building I
Gilbert Town Council heard more public comment on a possible eminent domain action along the Western Canal. (Tom Blodgett/Community Impact Newspaper)

Gilbert Town Council heard more public comment on a possible eminent domain action along the Western Canal. (Tom Blodgett/Community Impact Newspaper)

Gilbert Town Council members received praise April 6 from one of the landowners along the Western Canal who have faced losing portions of their backyard in an eminent domain action.

Nolan Baldwin told council during the public comment period of the council meeting that he had met with several town officials who made it clear the town was looking for alternatives to purchasing their yards.

The town had moved to purchase the property as a prelude to refurbishing deteriorating infrastructure pipes and maintenance holes that run along 24 landowners’ properties on Hemlock and Commerce avenues and Honeysuckle Lane near Freestone Park.

The homeowners have organized to ask the town to reconsider its approach to the project and offered unfettered access to their yards if the town will allow them to keep them.

Two other landowners also spoke during public comment, asking the town to reconsider its position.


The short meeting also included the passing of a consent agenda that included an intergovernmental agreement with the town of Queen Creek for the delivery of reclaimed water and the purchase of police body camera software enhancement.

In council reports, Council Member Kathy Tilque said Gilbert Sister Cities youth ambassadors will not be able to travel to Antrim-Newtownabbey, Northern Ireland, this year because of the coronavirus pandemic, just as they could not last year. Instead, the youth will receive scholarship money.
By Tom Blodgett

Editor, Gilbert

Raised in Arizona, Tom Blodgett has spent more than 30 years in journalism in Arizona and joined Community Impact Newspaper in July 2018 to launch the Gilbert edition. He is a graduate of Arizona State University, where he served as an instructional professional in the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication from 2005-19 and remains editorial adviser to The State Press, the university's independent student media outlet.