Mount Pleasant officials planned on Monday to reach an agreement with two property owners ending their part in a federal lawsuit resisting the village’s attempts to assemble land for the massive factory complex Foxconn Technology Group is now building.
The settlements will mean that the village of Mount Pleasant has acquired all the land needed for what is to become Area I of the Foxconn project. With four plaintiffs having separately settled with the village in August, only one is now left in the federal lawsuit.
Even before the latest settlements, the village had announced it had acquired all the land needed for Area I of the Foxconn project. With the agreements with landowners, the village has acquired 85 percent of the land also needed for the project’s areas I, II and III.
“As it has since the beginning of this process, the village will continue to pursue all reasonable efforts to reach voluntary agreements with individual property owners to acquire the property needed for the Foxconn development,” said Alan Marcuvitz, a lawyer representing Mount Pleasant, in an official statement.
The plaintiffs in the federal suit questioned the village’s offer for their land – 140 percent of its market value, as well as $50,000 for excess acreage and moving costs. They contended that other owners have received more.
Area 1 of the Foxconn project is a site bordered by Interstate 94 and County Highway H to its west and east and Braun Road and 1st Street to its north and south. Construction has already begun on the first phase of the Foxconn project, which will have buildings put up on a 1,000-acre site.
All told, Foxconn is planning to spend as much as $10 billion on a 22-million-square-foot manufacturing campus, where it will make state-of-the-art displays for electronic devices. The company expects to employ as many as 13,000 people in Wisconsin.
The suit in federal court is not the only to have been filed in response to the village of Mount Pleasant’s plans to acquire land for the Foxconn project. A group of landowners is suing separately in state court over the village’s decision to declare their properties “blighted” – a step that has to be taken before land can be taken using eminent domain. The plaintiffs in that case are arguing that local officials are improperly using the term blighted by applying it to places consisting mostly of rural farmland
In yet another action, David and Brenda Creuziger, whose company Creuziger Farms operates the Land of the Giants pumpkin farm in Sturtevant, had sought an injunction against Mount Pleasant after it appeared that village officials were going to take 8.7 acres of their land for an expansion of Highway 11. That action was halted, though, after Mount Pleasant officials decided to not pursue having a temporary limited easement on the Creuziger’s property after finding the road project did not need to be undertaken immediately.Follow @TDR_WLJDan