Friday, November 23, 2007
A Change in Plans
Mille Lacs News Staff Writer
James D'Angelo indicated after the November 14 special tax
abatement public hearing that building plans for the sex offender facility
have changed. Pointing out that the architectural renderings, currently
being presented as representations of the proposed $14 million dollar
commercial sex offender institution are outdated, he stated that the three
story administration/education building has been lowered to two stories. He
did not elaborate on any other changes at this time, and produced no new
sketches or illustrations.
The building project has seen many changes. What started out
as a proposed $6-8 million dollar institution became an $8-10 million dollar
project. Next we heard that it would be a $12 million dollar facility. When
the county assessor was appraising the yet-to-exist-in-real-life sex
offender complex, reports of its value dipped back down to around $8 million
dollars... coincidentally. Now that tax abatement is in the bag, we hear
that the NEXUS sex offenders will enjoy a $14 million dollar facility!
Several citizens have expressed disgust that even with the
passing of the school referendum, our own kids in the Onamia public schools
won't have it as good as the sex offenders - who, like most of the NEXUS
employees, come from other counties.
D'Angelo did not comment on any change in style of the
proposed "campus", which current designs oddly enough resemble WWII
concentration camps. (See Ugly Buildings)
Construction, which was supposed to begin last August has
been delayed due to one problem after another, mostly having to do with
NEXUS, a multi-million dollar corporation receiving property tax relief and
the City of Onamia figuring out how to circumvent existing ordinances which
prohibit forcing a commercial sex offender facility in a residential area
where it doesn't belong.
It does seem that when it comes to NEXUS and the City,
stories keep changing. It might make one wonder if their plans are solid and
responsible or if they are just winging it, letting the consequences of
their ineptitude fall where they may.
Bradbury neighbors complain that these ill-formed plans are
falling directly upon them, ruining their enjoyment of the properties where
they have built their lives and have been paying taxes on for years and
years. Somehow it just doesn't seem fair. And although construction is now
slated to begin in March of 2008, local residents have indicated that those
plans may also be delayed - as plans get tied up in District Court.