Land Owners Fighting Eminent Domain

1 decade 2 years 6 months ago Thursday, December 08 2005 Dec 8, 2005 Thursday, December 08, 2005 10:11:08 PM CST December 08, 2005 in News

The land just beyond these rolling hills could soon be a part of rolling back prices. But the man who owns the land next to the proposed superstore site says the city wants part of his land to build an interchange to help Wal-Mart.

"But they are in the sense that if it was not for Wal-Mart they would not be doing anything. They would not allow Wal-Mart to build there without those improvements," said land owner Steve LePage.

But city officials say this is a city matter, not a Wal-Mart matter. The city plans to split this land to build an intersection for safety reasons.

"We're not acquiring anything for Wal-Mart," Interim City Administrator Nathan Nickolaus. "All we're acquiring is we need to make a connection between City View coming across the highway and onto Schott Road which then runs parallel to the highway on the other side. It's kind of your classic access road to the highway situation."

The land has been in the LePage family for more than 160 years. And under eminent domain, the government can force LePage to sell the land whether he wants to or not.

"So my focus is to stop this project. It's a total... total misuse of eminent domain," LePage said.

And he's starting a coalition to make people aware of his situation and to stop the misuse of eminent domain. LePage says city officials have not contacted him about taking his land. The city says that step comes a little later in the process.

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