Alma city officials have approved $98,000 for the first purchase of a property for the Arkansas 162 relocation project.

At special noon meeting Monday, city council members approved an ordinance that allows Universal Field Services, as representatives of the City of Alma, to offer an amount not to exceed $98,000 for the purchase of a property located at 306 E. Main St.

The price being offered to the owners includes a $40,500 cost for the property assessment and a $57,500 price differential payment, Yardley said. The price differential payment is based on the property’s worth to the city.

Other miscellaneous expenses will be included in the $98,000 amount, Yardley said.

Alma plans to acquire a total of three houses and more than 20 parcels for the project, he said.

Though the first purchase is being made separately, Yardley later plans to ask council members to approve a budget for all other purchases, he said.

Yardley called a special meeting to ask the council to approve this purchase now to allow the owners to use the money to purchase their new home, which he said is being held for them.

"We’re just trying to be good neighbors and accommodate their needs as well," Yardley said.

Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department, which is working with the city on the highway project, have projected property acquisitions to cost the city $650,000, Yardley said.

Arkansas 162 in Alma will be relocated from Main Street to U.S. 64, and will include an overpass to cross existing railroad tracks.