Communications Scope of Services
Negotiation and Acquisition
Coates' goal is to obtain a satisfactory settlement, based on a valuation in the best interests of the client and the property owner. The client's price schedules are strictly observed.
Coates Right of Way agents conduct negotiations professionally, tactfully and efficiently. All contact is documented and becomes a part of the permanent records. Coates Agents are available whenever and wherever landowners can be met. Some landowners are approached only through an attorney or other representative. Coates Agents will negotiate through any intermediary in order to reach an agreement.
Coates Agents are carefully screened and selected for each project. Whenever possible, Agents are assigned to areas where they have previously lived or worked so that they are familiar with the geography and population.
Computerized Records and Reports
Coates has developed software programs to meet the specific needs of communications companies. Coates can generate progress reports, ownership lists, acquisition records, budget forecasts and other data that can be transferred to the client's permanent right-of-way records. Coates has assisted many clients in developing efficient database programs to update title information, locate and identify encroachments, note new subdivision locations or extract key information from old documents and satisfy Internal Revenue Service reporting requirements.
Coates can provide right-of-way analysis services, extrapolating and interpreting information and entering data into the client's mainframe.
Coates Title Specialists can provide current surface ownerships, mineral interests, encumbrances and complete chains of title. Each county, parish or other political subdivision in each state may have different systems of recording or indexing land documents and transactions. Coates Title Specialists are familiar with these systems and can conduct manual or electronic research.
Coates prepares title reports that reveal the source of current ownership, kind of conveyance and an accurate description of the land conveyed. Coates can determine mineral interests, current lease holders, expiration dates of lease of record and encumbrances such as mortgages, liens and judgments. Coates can also provide complete curative work.
After ownership of the involved properties is determined, Coates Right-Of-Way Agents contact the owners to obtain permission to enter the property for any and all preliminary project inspections. These include environmental inspections and tests, archaeological studies, ground and biological surveys, etc.
Preparation of Legal Descriptions
Coates has the technical capabilities to prepare mathematical computations of land areas, write land descriptions, draft plot plans of plan sheets including all associated materials and conduct field investigations of land conditions. The resulting document pinpoints the right-of-way take area and assures that the legal description is complete, accurate and correct.
Route Selection Assistance
By interpreting aerial photographs, topographical maps and right of way plans, Coates employees can assist the client in selecting routes that are cost effective and environmentally sound. Coates can detect desirable areas of terrain and recognize problem areas of acquisition that could involve time consuming, expensive negotiations. Coates employees are skilled at working with engineering, survey and construction personnel during route investigation and are familiar with the technical aspects of communications systems.
When alternate route studies are required, Coates employees exercise extreme care to select the preferred route. Historical and archaeological areas are crucial in route selection and unless these areas are identified and properly located, much preliminary work can be wasted. Coates employees are respectful of the land and the landowners.
Coordination of Survey, Mapping and Engineering
Coates has associated with survey and engineering companies across the United States and maintains files on preferred surveyors and engineers who provide accurate, cost-efficient and timely service. Coates has coordinated many projects with surveyors and engineers to assure that survey permission has been obtained and that survey restrictions are documented and observed. Coates works closely with engineers to provide quality control, assuring that legal descriptions and maps are consistent with design needs and error free.
Coates can assist the client with due diligence environmental assessments of real property by researching the chain of title and obtaining records from governmental agencies. Coates personnel interview landowners and their neighbors to determine past uses of the land. Coates also works with environmental testing companies to assure that environmental concerns are addressed and that public safety is given priority.
Construction Liaison and Damage Settlements
The ability to successfully satisfy claims against a client can result in substantial savings in time and money. Coates Agents assess the damage and arrive at an acceptable settlement, avoiding adverse publicity and negative feelings. The Agents act as liaison between the property owner, survey teams, construction crews and cleanup personnel. The positive relationship developed between Coates Agents and the property owners can significantly reduce potential damage settlements and enhance public opinion of a communication project. This assures lasting and good public relations with landowners in the future.
Coates Agents realize that the period between the time of the alleged damage and settlement of the claim is critical, so prompt and courteous attention is given in each case. Coates Agents investigate all charges, land or crop damage, restoration and replacement costs and any other aspects of a claim. They evaluate these items and presents their findings to the client. The Agents negotiate damage settlements and process the necessary documents and payments in accordance with the client's instructions.
This service is available before, during and after construction and for specific and unusual claims.