FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 17, 2017
Randy Ruppert, 402-936-4870, email@example.com
Jane Kleeb, 402-705-3622, firstname.lastname@example.org
Fremont City Council’s Effort to Use Eminent Domain on Area Farmers for Costco Lagoons Fails
Fremont, NE – At this week’s Fremont City Council meeting, the council attempted but failed to pass a resolution to invoke the power of eminent domain to take land from family farms for the relocation of three anaerobic lagoons that would receive wastewater from Lincoln Premium Poultry — which is part of Costco’s plans to put an industrial chicken factory in the Fremont area.
State agencies, cities and counties seeking to invoke eminent domain are required under state law to conduct informational meetings and hearings. Fremont is not exempt from these requirements, and no such hearings have been held or scheduled to this point.
“There have been no public hearings on any proposed public works project involving public domain, and there have been no hearings about any matter related to the use of the power of eminent domain,” said Bold Nebraska’s Jane Kleeb.
“The City of Fremont and its administrator look at this as if it is some game, but these are real people with real lives. Eminent Domain for the financial benefit of Costco is not a public good,” stated Randy Ruppert, President of Nebraska Communities United. “We will be left with environmental and health issues, through air and water degradation. If the city moves forward ignoring the required process, we will file litigation. Neither the City of Fremont nor Coscto have the right to put others at risk, and we will not let them push our neighbors around that easily.”
In response to the recent events, Fremont City Administrator Brian Newton stated:
“No action has been taken thus far in regard to eminent domain, however, such measures would be taken if monetary negotiations couldn’t be successfully made between the city and landowners. Eminent Domain is the right of the government or a municipality to seize private land for public use, with payment of compensation. Without the threat of eminent domain, somebody can hold you hostage,” Newton added. “Eminent domain simply says that if it’s in the public interest, I can condemn and pay a fair market value. So I will negotiate, and I’ll negotiate for more, but if you want to take me to the mat, then all I am entitled to pay is the fair market value.”
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