- Associated Press - Sunday, April 16, 2017

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) - A Kansas City, Kansas, woman is the last homeowner in her area as the University of Kansas Health System continues to expand around her.

Linda Mawby, 70, is the one homeowner who decided not to sell her 110-year-old house when the health system began its $350 million expansion project surrounding her, the Kansas City Star (https://bit.ly/2pcR5wQ ) reported.

Mawby said nobody at Kansas University has ever pressured her to move, threatened to uproot her through eminent domain, or done anything other than acknowledge her wishes. She was offered 1.5 times the market price of her property, which the group said is still on the table.

“We respect her right not to sell,” said Dennis McCulloch, the health system’s public relations director. “You know, it’s a situation where she has expressed her desires. We’ve tried to be as courteous as we can, while still making what we think is a generous offer.”

Mawby confirmed that the hospital has been kind. She considers her home to still be just that, regardless of what’s being constructed around it.

“See, I’ve my little oasis here,” she said. “I’ve got my critters around me. I’ve got squirrels, chipmunks. A raccoon comes and goes. I had a possum, maybe I’ll get another. Groundhogs.”

Mawby has spent much of her time in the home she bought 30 years ago taking care of various animals. Creatures make appearances in her garden and wild brush, and plastic flowers mark the burial sites of pets she has loved over the decades.

She said that the house will go to her younger sister after she dies, but that the health system will likely get it eventually. She said she hopes when that happens, hospital officials will keep the house intact and use it as a visitor center.


Information from: The Kansas City Star, https://www.kcstar.com

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