Dismayed at City
When I received the call from Onamia Public Schools in the summer of 1984
offering me a job as their business education instructor, I thought all my
dreams had come true. This was my chance to teach and live in a small community
similar to where I had grown up. Unfortunately, because of a lack of adequate
housing in Onamia, I was forced to live and commute from Milaca. Although I had
found a nice place to live, I didn't care for the daily commute and missed being
able to make connections to the community in which I worked. I felt as my
parents did - you needed to live in and be a part of the community that provided
you with your livelihood.
My opportunity to satisfy this desire came in the summer of 1991 when an
adorable home became available a short distance west of Onamia. It was located
on a five-acre wooded parcel providing solitude, peace and quiet and an
abundance of wildlife. I had even expressed an interest to buy additional land
next to me. However, the current owner assured me that the property would never
be for sale. Despite this, I asked that if they ever did decide to sell, I would
appreciate the first opportunity to purchase it. For 16 years, I have enjoyed
living just across the Rum River on Shakopee Lake Road. I have watched as new
houses were built, families moved in and the neighborhood grew.
Approximately two weeks ago, while at work, I received an email from my employer
congratulating me on my new neighbors. Imagine my dismay and disbelief when I
was informed that the city was going to purchase the property next to me - the
same property I had tried to buy but was assured would never be for sale. It was
to be bought by the city, rezoned as commercial, annexed into the city and
subsequently sold to Mille Lacs Academy (Nexus) to relocate their facility. A
commercial facility would be placed in a "rural" residential setting. There had
been no warning. No notice to the officials of Bradbury Township from which the
property would be taken, no notice to the landowners who lived next to the
property. The people who would be affected the most had been denied their right
to due process to protect their quality of life.
When some of the local landowners contacted city of Onamia officials with
questions, they were told that it was a "done deal." When the sale was final and
ownership had been given to Mille Lacs Academy (Nexus), the mayor would set up a
meeting with Mille Lacs Academy (Nexus) so we could express our concerns.
This is a facility that operates 24 hours a day seven days a week 365 days a
year and is to be located in a residential area. Not only will the traffic level
increase, but the facility will require extensive night-time lighting that will
affect me, my neighbors and the wildlife that call these woods home. I wonder if
the impact upon the environment, specifically wetlands, has even been
I understand the importance of facilities like Mille Lacs Academy (Nexus) and
recognize the excellent work they do. The city of Onamia is right in trying to
keep the facility here. However, placing any type of structure that is not a
family dwelling in a residential area is inappropriate. Hopefully this is not a
"done deal" and the negative impact that this relocation has on local landowners
will be taken into consideration.
Bradbury Township resident
How much longer until Nexus goes away
and our lives can get back to normal?