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Section 2: Acquisition of Land for a Real Property Site

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Site Selection

TxDOT coordinates site selection with the Maintenance Division (MNT), which is responsible for all charges and costs. TxDOT’s environmental coordinator should examine the land for the proposed site to determine whether any environmental assessments may be needed. This determination is made in coordination with the Environmental Affairs Division.

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District Submission Requirements

As soon as possible after MNT has concurred in site selection, TxDOT will:

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  • provide ROW Division Headquarters with a current title commitment. The commitment is valid for ninety days from the effective date and should be updated when necessary.
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  • advise ROW Division Headquarters if all easements and other items listed as exceptions on Schedule B of the title commitment are compatible with the intended use of the site
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  • advise ROW Division Headquarters about any title curative that will be required. Common title curative matters include tax liens; deed restrictions; boundary line discrepancies; encroachments of improvements; gas pipelines; and oil and gas leases held by production.
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  • a metes and bounds description on letter-size paper signed and sealed by a Registered Professional Land Surveyor (RPLS).
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  • a letter-size survey plat prepared by an RPLS

If the proposed sellers of the surface estate for the site do not own the oil and gas rights, then TxDOT will need to investigate this ownership with the title company. MNT has authorized TxDOT to pay for a mineral title search, if this is necessary.

After at least 51 % of the mineral owners are identified, then TxDOT will coordinate obtaining a release of mineral surface rights from these owners. If an active oil and gas lease covers the minerals under the land for the proposed site, then TxDOT will obtain a release from the owner of the lease. ROW Division Headquarters is available to coordinate research at the Texas Railroad Commission to verify active oil and gas leases.

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Appraisal

ROW Division Headquarters advises TxDOT to have the land appraised.

TxDOT will choose a state certified appraiser from TxDOT’s approved list and will require that TxDOT approved forms are to be used.

TxDOT approves the recommended value for the land without review from ROW Division Headquarters, and sends a copy of the approved value form ROW-A-10S to ROW Division Headquarters.

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Offer and Counteroffer

TxDOT makes a written offer to the owner(s) to purchase the land for the approved value.

If the owner(s) make a counteroffer to TxDOT’s offer to purchase the site for the approved value, then TxDOT should forward a memorandum to MNT with a copy to ROW Division Headquarters outlining the reasons for accepting or rejecting the counteroffer. MNT will evaluate the counteroffer and advise TxDOT how to proceed. If TxDOT accepts the counteroffer and agrees to purchase the land for an amount above the approved value, then the owner(s) should write TxDOT a letter containing the terms of the sale. TxDOT will forward this letter to ROW Division Headquarters.

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Deed, Memorandum of Agreement, and Closing

After an agreement has been reached between the owner(s) and TxDOT to sell the property, ROW Division Headquarters will assist TxDOT in preparing the Deed and Memorandum of Agreement. The Comptroller requires a Memorandum of Agreement even though its use for acquiring right of way has been discontinued.

TxDOT submits the following to ROW Division Headquarters:

TxDOT prepares a Payee Identification Form with joint payees being the title company and the seller(s).

TxDOT prepares and submits a Billing Worksheet, Form 2557, and sends it to TxDOT’s accounting section. Then TxDOT’s accounting section will prepare a voucher to request the warrant.

ROW Division Headquarters provides the Finance Division (FIN) with copies of the title commitment, signed deed and memorandum of agreement, and preliminary closing statement. FIN forwards these to the Comptroller for issuing the warrant.

FIN forwards the warrant to TxDOT, and TxDOT closes the transaction.

TxDOT obtains the title policy. TxDOT should be sure that a deletion of arbitration provision form, if applicable, has been furnished to the title company so that the arbitration provision will be deleted from the title policy.

TxDOT sends the billing statement for paying the title policy premium and expenses, unless the seller has paid for the title policy. Send the original recorded deed and original title policy with the billing statement to ROW Division Headquarters.

ROW Division Headquarters will process the billing statement to obtain a warrant for paying the title company expenses.

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