Monday September 10, 2007
Neighbors Gear Up for Law
Mille Lacs News Staff Writer
They say there are two sides to every story. The situation
between the Nexus corporation and local property owners is no exception. On
one side is a multi-million dollar corporation based in Minneapolis. Nexus supporters want the sex offenders to
stay in Onamia - at all costs. On the other side are local property owners who are
battling to preserve their homes, their safety, and their way of life. They
don't want 94 sex offenders next door. There is anger and frustration on
both sides. And it seems to be escalating.
Neither side will budge.
Nexus wants the 38 acres because:
*The location offers privacy for the sex offenders
*There is room for expansion
*The natural beauty of the property
*Nexus has already spent money on plans to build there
Nay-sayers object because:
it's wrong. Neighbors are vehement that the institution is stealing their
neighborhood's privacy; replacing peace and quiet with constant
noise, increased traffic (hundreds of cars and delivery trucks, three shifts
each and every day, twelve months per year). The mega-complex will light up
the night sky. The natural beauty of the land will be destroyed when the
woods are bulldozed and the hayfield is covered in pavement.
Neighbors also say that Nexus' plans to build here is
"putting good money after bad". If Nexus had done its homework, they would
have known about all the wetlands, the problems with the property, and
realized the reasons they shouldn't build here before they put money
into the project. But in their zealousness, they made mistakes they are
reluctant to admit.
So Where's the Solution?
"There's nothing we can do about it right now," said a member
of the OACRG. "We're on hold until the City of Onamia actually purchases
the Grosslein/Bye property." The purchase agreement expires on September 15,
but the City Council plans to extend it until January 2, 2008. "The City of Onamia will not close on the land
signs a contract to purchase the 38 acres from them. Nexus won't sign a
contract until it sees whether they get tax abatement," he said.
Since they lied about leaving if they didn't get tax
exemption, the Neighbors believe Nexus is lying about leaving when they
don't get the abatement.
"We anticipate them moving forward with the project," he
said. "They still will have a lot of hoops to jump through but they are
determined to come here no matter how wrong it is. We still have a few
tricks up our sleeves. Hopefully Nexus will realize that they'd be better
off someplace else."
And if the tricks fail?
"Then the Neighbors will sue," he said, referring to all of
the adjacent land owners as well as many others in the surrounding area.
"We're talking over a million dollars in lost property values
because of these jerks," said one of the angry neighbors. "They can't come
in here, wreck our lives, ruin our property values and expect that in three
years we'll 'wonder what all the fuss was about'. Don't these people 'get'
it? They don't belong here. They don't have the right to be here. If they're
so keen on these huge ugly buildings, they should go to Minneapolis, not
ruin the character of our rural, recreational town. We don't want sex
One thing is clear: eventually something has to give.
Neighbors insist that the one to give will have to be Nexus.