After 50 years, family moves from home for UDOT project

Posted at 5:55 PM, Apr 16, 2012
and last updated 2012-04-16 20:36:04-04

WEST VALLEY CITY -- The new freeway that will cut through Salt Lake Valley's west side is causing 100 more homes to be torn down to make way for construction. One family talked with FOX13 saying after decades raising their family, they are crushed learning they have to leave their home behind.

To complete the Mountain View Corridor Project, Utah Department of Transportation says that 100 houses need to come down between 5800 West between 3500 and 4700 South.

The home owner along the proposed demolition site, Max Williams, says after living at his current house on Masters Way for 50 years, he does not know where else to go and does not want to leave with all his family's memories tied to his home and neighborhood.

"My son built the cabinets, we put these big cabinets in, put tile all around it and fixed it up in here -- paper and painted it," Max points out walking through his house slated for demolition.

Max Williams says he has worked on the home for many years to make it comfortable for him and his wife as they age. The house and the neighborhood is where they expected to live out their life.

"I was a bishop here for six-and-a-half years and got to love the people -- you get close to them. I've performed 32 marriages. A lot of those kids come back and they call us grandpa and grandma. And those things you'll never forget," says Williams.

Williams says he does not know where he will end up. At 82 years old, he is heartbroken, seeing some of his neighbors' homes already bought and boarded up by the state.

"We've got to get out whether we like it or not," says Williams.

UDOT says they are paying each property owner the "fair market price" as well as relocation expenses.

"What we'll actually do is meet with each property owner, we'll appraise the property pay fair market value as well as relocation expenses," says UDOT project manager Teri Newell.

Williams worries about what fair market value for a home that is paid off and whether that amount will buy him another home given the current economic climate.

"We've raised our family. We know everybody in the neighborhood -- everybody around us. We've made friends with everybody. Now, you've got to move and you know when you get our age you can't do things like that," says Williams.

All of the home owners in this area are gearing up for a public meeting with UDOT on May 2 at Hunter High School, and at that time they say they may finally know what it means to get "fair market value" for their homes.