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Published: Wednesday, 3/13/2002

Lima eminent-domain case heads to U.S. District Court

LIMA, Ohio - The Lima city schools' attempt to force the sale of an apartment complex near the site of its new high school has been moved to U.S. District Court in Toledo.

Last month, the school board filed suit in Allen County Common Pleas Court against Columbus-based Lima I, which owns a 40-unit apartment complex on East North Street. The eminent-domain action also names Mel Martinez, secretary of Housing and Urban and Development, which guaranteed the mortgage on the property.

Because the HUD secretary was named, attorneys asked to have the case transferred to federal court.

Michael Rumer, attorney for the school board, said the complex is the highest-value property needed for the construction project. The school board needed to purchase 93 parcels, and while it went to court to obtain 57 of the parcels, all have been purchased except for this apartment complex, Mr. Rumer said.

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