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Mt. Pleasant moves forward with eminent domain in Foxconn area

Posted at 10:09 PM, Sep 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-24 23:09:12-04

The village of Mt. Pleasant board trustees voted to move ahead with the “Award for Damages” or the price they are paying for nine parcels being taken by eminent domain.

The properties are in the way of road construction according to the village. All of the roads in question feed into or surround the Foxconn project.

Residents and their supporters used all of the public comment during Monday evening’s meeting to oppose the use of eminent domain on these properties.

“There is no right way to do the wrong thing. Foxconn has wrong since day 1,” said Alfonso Gardner.

The village has said home and property owners were offered 140% of the value of their property. In many cases homeowners have up to 2 years to dispute the price they were paid.

But in the meantime, eminent domain moves forward. Homeowner Catherine Jensen is one of many hoping a judge will issue an injunction and stop the demolition of her home of more than 20 years.

“As for waiting until a judge decides… you want to do that before judge can stop you. What is the harm in waiting? Are you that scared that you are going to be shot down?” Jensen said.

The “Award for Damages” agenda item passed the board 5 to 2. Trustees Gary Feest and Ram Bhatia voted no. The watchdog group “A Better Mt. Pleasant” says several families are still battling with the village in court. The village said a statement:

“All of the properties were acquired for the purposes of roadway expansion, at the direction of Wisconsin Department of Transportation Statute 32.05. In all cases, the Village has remained true to its acquisition plans and provided 140% of fair market value for homes, plus the full package of relocation benefits. All property owners have a 2 year period to appeal for additional compensation. For the two properties with homes, the occupants are able to remain in their home for a period of at least 90 days following the award.”

The homeowners say they received a letter informing them to be out of their homes by Nov. 19, 2018.