Woman fights to prevent roundabout, save her home

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WESTFIELD – Central Indiana is the roundabout capital of the world, and we’ve gained national recognition for it. But one proposed roundabout in Westfield is on hold because one woman tells FOX59 she’s not handing her land over without a fight.

The city and Sandra Vincent are headed to court. The city’s claiming its power of eminent domain. Vincent is ready to face a judge.

Five o’clock in the afternoon at 161st Street and Oak Ridge Road in Westfield is busy. There are too many cars to count, and traffic’s backed up deep.

A sign at the intersection shows a roundabout coming soon. But the process is stalled, much like the traffic.

“It is a little bit delayed, and that is a result of land acquisition that we have to go through,” said Westfield Mayor Andy Cook.

Cook knows the road to the roundabout now leads through a courtroom. The city wants the property on the corner where Sandra Vincent’s childhood home sits.

“My insides tighten up. I shake. I cry,” said Vincent.

Vincent isn’t having it. The home’s been in her family since 1948. She recalls her childhood, her parents and working there on the farm. For Vincent, the city’s offers weren’t good enough, in a process that started last February.

She and her daughter are staking claim to their place for however long it takes.

“I’m willing to fight it until they come to my terms,” she said. “I wouldn’t have sold one inch of this property for a million dollars. I would’ve died here. I would’ve never left this property.”

Vincent knows the forced sale is coming.

“Sometimes they’re up, sometimes they’re down, but a price will be arrived at,” said the mayor.

Until the battle’s settled traffic at that corner will keep crawling. It’s a sign of a growing community, with a resident passionate for her past.

“To them it’s just my number or a location. To me, it’s my life. They are threatening my life,” said Vincent.

The two sides meet in court for the first time on Monday, May 5.

Vincent and her daughter do not have an attorney. Her daughter lives in the home in question. Vincent lives just steps away.

Cook said the city’s offered fair market value for the property in question. Vincent maintains it’s not enough.