Any individual, family, business concern (including the operation of a farm) or nonprofit organization to be displaced by a highway construction project shall be compensated consistent with the provisions and limitations of federal acts for reasonable and necessary costs to be incurred in consequence of being so displaced. When a family is displaced, no additional payment shall be made to individuals who are members of such family; but, if two or more displaced families occupy the same dwelling or comprise a single household, each family within such dwelling or household may receive relocation costs as provided in this section. Payments under this section are subject to the limitations provided herein and to any rules and regulations made by the commissioner as herein provided.
With respect to state highway projects and federal-aid highway projects, the commissioner shall have authority to make such payments for relocation costs, reestablishment costs, replacement housing costs, including the increased interest costs which the displaced person is required to pay for financing the acquisition of a comparable replacement dwelling, and reasonable expenses incurred by such displaced person for evidence of title, recording fees, and other closing costs incident to the purchase of the replacement dwelling, and expenses incidental to the transfer of property as are authorized by the abovementioned Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970, being Public Law 91-646 enacted by the Ninety-first Congress of the United States of America, and the 1987 amendments thereto known as Title IV of the Surface Transportation and Uniform Relocation Assistance Act of 1987, being Public Law 100-17 enacted by the One Hundredth Congress of the United States of America.
The commissioner shall establish by rules and regulations a procedure for the payment of relocation costs within the limits of and consistent with the policies of this section and the aforesaid federal laws and regulations. Such rules and regulations may authorize lump sum payments to individuals or families, in lieu of their respective provable costs, based upon the size of the dwelling being vacated or the number of persons being affected or any other reasonable basis. The commissionermay authorize the obligations of or payment of relocation costs in advance of expenditure for relocation by any person, firm or organization eligible to receive such payment where such advance obligation or payment would speed the clearance of highway construction sites or reduce hardships.
With respect to state highway projects and federal-aid highway projects, the commissioner shall also have authority to comply with the aforesaid federal laws and regulations relating to providing last-resort replacement housing.
Nothing contained in this section or in the federal laws and regulations relating to relocation assistance and payments to displaced person shall be construed as creating in any condemnation proceedings brought under the power of eminent domain, any element of damages not in existence on the effective date of this section or of the federal laws and regulations relating to relocation assistance and payments to displaced persons.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2012 1st Special Session