SHERMAN, Texas (KTEN) — The Sherman City Council is stepping in to make sure the city can complete an important utilities project.

At a meeting last week, the council authorized city staff to invoke eminent domain as they prepare to install a new water pipeline.

Eminent domain lets city governments seize private property, compensate the owner for it, and use it for public purposes.

The City of Sherman is working on a water line running parallel to FM 1417, from the water treatment plant to Industry Park, where Texas Instruments and GlobiTech are expanding.

"So much of what the city has been focused on over the course of the last year has been lining up these projects so that when they're ready to open, when they're ready to start operations, we have that water there ready for them," City of Sherman spokesperson Nate Strauch said.

The city must negotiate with private property owners to secure use of the land to lay pipe. Eminent domain will only be used if negotiations reach an impasse.

"There are times where it is a necessity to use eminent domain, but it should be the absolute last resort," said City Council member Shawn Teamann. "The council has sent that as a clear message: That we don't want to use eminent domain as the first step."

Any property owners in the path of the pipeline would be paid for their land, but would still retain use of the majority of it, because the pipeline would lie along the edges of the properties.

"In the event that there's homes on the property and there's larger tracts of land, they would likely like to see the line ran out by the street, because they're likely not going to build anything there," Teamann said.