MOUNT PLEASANT — More than 50 residents who will be moving from their homes because of Foxconn Technology Group’s plan to build a massive manufacturing facility, packed a conference room in the Mount Pleasant Village Hall on Wednesday to get some understanding about their options.
The questions ranged from how much money is going to be offered per acre, to what is the timeline to move out.
Residents were told they were going to be offered market value for their homes and assistance in relocation. Many residents left not feeling satisfied.
The informational session on Wednesday is one of three sessions. The other two are scheduled for today from 5-7 p.m. at Memorial Hall, 72 Seventh St., Racine; and Oct. 24 from 5-7 p.m. at Veterans Terrace, 589 Milwaukee Ave., Burlington.
Kim Mahoney and her family just moved into their home on Prairie View Drive, just west of Highway H and a little northwest of Highway KR, in February.
“I haven’t had one Christmas (there) yet,” Mahoney said. “My daughter has to switch schools because they want to build a factory here. That’s not fair to a sixth-grader.”
Mahoney said she’s been looking at other homes since the Foxconn announcement and is concerned about not finding a suitable replacement house.
“It’s going to cost twice as much, there’s going to be restrictive covenents, which means the house has to be bigger so the home is going to be more expensive,” Mahoney said. “We are not going to find something for the market value, it’s not there. There’s nothing out there.”
Options for residents
Peter Miesbauer, consultant for G.J. Miesbauer and Associates, tried to answer as many questions as possible. But he said many of the residents’ questions would be answered during the negotiation period when the village buys the properties.
Miesbauer said the first thing that will happen is the property owner will meet with an assessor to get an appraisal.
“Once that appraisal is completed the village will have to approve that appraisal as the basis of the offer,” Miesbauer said. “Once the village has done that, I presume there will be some sort of committee approval that will be needed in addition to the board approval as well.
“Once that approval is completed,” he continued, “then the real estate staff can come out and we will make personal contact with every property owner where we have an approved appraisal and present that offer to you to initiate negotiations.”
Miesbauer said that after the appraisal is presented, the landowner will have 60 days to get their own appraisal, if they wish, and submit it to the village.
“Once we have the two reports, we will sit down and compare the two in order to arrive at a value that’s acceptable to both parties,” Miesbauer said.
For many residents, the price they receive for their current homes is only part of the process as they relocate to a new home.
Miesbauer said there will be some compensation to help with the relocation process.
“Relocation is pretty complex in the law, and it requires even more personal contact,” Miesbauer said. “There will be a separate person just for relocation benefits that will meet with you on an even more regular basis, particularly for businesses but also for residents.”
Fair market value ‘isn’t fair’
Kim Janicek operates Diamond Cut Limousine out of her home and was disappointed by what she heard.
“We didn’t get very many answers in the meeting because it’s all based on a one-on-one negotiation,” Janicek said. “People are asking questions that can’t be answered until they come to your home and negotiate.”
Janicek is worried about what effect the move will have on her business.
“Just to relocate I’m going to be out a year, two years’ wages,” Janicek said. She added her workers will likely lose their jobs.
“My whole life has to be rerouted,” she said.
Katie Spencer and her family moved into their home last year. Spencer said she wasn’t satisfied with the informational session.
“I don’t think they thought we were coming to ask all these questions that they didn’t have answers for,” Spencer said.
“I don’t think fair market value isn’t fair enough (because) Mount Pleasant is buying it and selling it to Foxconn,” Spencer said. “... I feel like if (the state) can provide all of these millions to lure Foxconn to the area, I’m not saying pay us millions of dollars, just more than fair market value.”