BETHEL, Alaska (AP) – The Alaska Department of Transportation said it plans to restart construction on a road that would help better connect Bethel to its airport, but one Alaska Native family whose property lies where the road would pass through says the state agency isn’t making fair offers for their land.
The state Department of Transportation said they aim to put asphalt on the road by 2023 and that they offered Warren Polk and his family $99,000 for their native allotment next to the H-Marker Lake.
Polk said that the state agency told him if he does not accept their offer, they would take his land through eminent domain.
“To steal the land from us,” Polk said. “That’s basically what eminent domain is, where they get the land so ridiculously cheap it’s stealing.”
The state agency’s spokesperson, Shannon McCarthy, said that they “prefer to acquire the property through negotiation, not through eminent domain.” The state transportation department initially