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Section 2: Acquisition of Land for a Real Property Site

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Site Selection

The District coordinates site selection with the Maintenance Division (MNT), which is responsible for all charges and costs. The District’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, the District will:

  • provide the ROW Division with a current title commitment. The commitment is valid for ninety days from the effective date and should be updated when necessary.
  • advise the ROW Division 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
  • advise the ROW Division 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.
  • a metes and bounds description on letter-size paper signed and sealed by a Registered Professional Land Surveyor (RPLS).
  • 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 the District will need to investigate this ownership with the title company. MNT has authorized the Districts to pay for a mineral title search, if this is necessary.

After at least 51 % of the mineral owners are identified, then the District 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 the District will obtain a release from the owner of the lease. The ROW Division is available to coordinate research at the Texas Railroad Commission to verify active oil and gas leases.

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The ROW Division advises the District to have the land appraised.

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

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

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Offer and Counteroffer

The District makes a written offer to the owner(s) to purchase the land for the approved value. If the owner(s) has previously offered to sell the land for less than the approved value, then the District will make a written offer to purchase the land for this amount.

If the owner(s) make a counteroffer to TxDOT’s offer to purchase the site for the approved value, then the District should forward a memorandum to MNT with a copy to the ROW Division outlining the reasons for accepting or rejecting the counteroffer. MNT will evaluate the counteroffer and advise the District 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 the District a letter containing the terms of the sale. The District will forward this letter to the ROW Division.

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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, the ROW Division will assist the District 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.

The District submits the following to the ROW Division:

  • an updated title commitment
  • a certified copy of the signed deed
  • a copy of the signed Memorandum of Agreement

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

The District prepares and submits a Billing Statement, Form 132, and sends it to the District’s accounting section. Then the District’s accounting section will prepare a voucher to request the warrant.

The ROW Division 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 the District, and the District closes the transaction.

The District obtains the title policy. The District 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.

The District 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 the ROW Division.

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

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