Road commission using eminent domain to purchase property for County Road AAA

The Marquette County Road Commission approved a motion to purchase private property on the new County Road AAA project.

The Hingst and McGee properties are the two parcels of land the commission is purchasing.  The Hingst property is located close the intersection of County Roads 510 and AAA, and the owners did not want to sell land, so the commission can use eminent domain to buy the property.

“There’s laws in the State of Michigan that deal with building public roads and obtaining right-of-way for that public road if the property owner does not want to let the road commission have that (property become) public, and that’s through the eminent domain process,” Marquette County Road Commission Engineer Manager Jim Iwanicki said.

“That’s why we brought legal counsel on, they had us do a resolution (at the meeting) to say this is what we (the commission) needed to do for the public good.”

A few people at the road commission’s meeting Monday night felt that the commission “sprung” the resolution on the property owners, didn’t tell the Hingst’s about the resolution, and that County Road Triple A only benefits Lundin Mining and the Eagle Mine.

“The road commission set out a plan of what we’re going to do and how we were going to do it,” Iwanicki said.  “We’re trying to obtain those properties based on that original plan, and again with the contact with the owner–here in this case the Hingst’s.  They were interested in selling the property so we are moving forward with what we can legally do to try to obtain that property.”

“(County Road AAA) is a public road for everybody.  There will be people that use it more than others, and again the mining industry is an important industry and they will be a major benefactor to this and those in the logging industry.  And I believe the tourism industry will also be a benefactor for this road.”

The McGee’s sold their property in exchange for property from Longyear, a logging company.  In return, Longyear requested that it would be asked first by the road commission for timber sales.