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Mille Lacs County, Minnesota

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Monday September 10, 2007

Neighbors Gear Up for Law Suits


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 unless Nexus 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 offenders here."


One thing is clear: eventually something has to give. Neighbors insist that the one to give will have to be Nexus.















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