Saturday, June 25, 2005

Eminent Domain Abuse Hurts Families

This isn't just about homes. It's about families. Like the Dudko family (watch the video--It will break your heart):

A Bristol family knows all too well about eminent [domain]. Their homes and land were taken by the city for economic development last year.

"I hate to see it happen to anyone because I lived through it", says Mary Dudko.

The crushed up wood pile used to be a 100 year old farmhouse. The city demolished the home and their land under eminent domain.

The family says the city told them they wanted about 40 acres of their land for economic development to expand their industrial park for more property taxes. The family kept saying no, but after a seven year fight, they were forced out.

"We definitely did not get fair market value. That doesn't happen", says Mike Dudko.

Michael Dudko says the family was given less than half of what the land was worth. What he finds unfair is the city hasn't done anything with the land. That is because Yarde Metals, the company that was going to move in, gave up after a long court battle.

Dudko says the family may have felt differently if the city was building a road, or doing something for public use, and not giving away their heritage for private gain.

"I think some of our freedoms are disappearing because of economics. Money is really starting to rule this country", says Dudko.