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Holland homeowners upset over forced move | News

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Holland homeowners upset over forced move

HOLLAND, Mich. (WZZM) -- The Holland Board of Public Works is in the process of building a new power plant for the city, but the plans are having a ripple effect on one neighborhood.

The city is buying land for the project, and that means people near the site must move.

"My kids graduated here," says Annabel Aguera.  "My daughter graduated and we had her graduation party here."

Aguera is one of 21 homeowners around Fifth Street and Fairbanks Avenue who have received letters explaining that the BPW needs their land for additional infrastructure.

The BPW studied nine different sites, considering factors like access to transmission and gas lines, and settled on the area around Fifth and Fairbanks.

"While this is impactful for that one particular area, we had to consider all the factors, and this is the best site," says Dave Koster, BPW general manager.

Businesses will also be forced to move.

"I'd have to relocate and tell all the customers where my new business building is," says Angel Rios, owner of A and J's Automotive.

The BPW is promising to pay business owners fair market value for their properties, with homeowners receiving even more, plus moving expenses.

But Aguera says the money does not make up for the memories they're being forced to leave behind.

The property owners have until March 2014 to move out.

The deal is expected to be finalized in October and the power plant will start operating in 2016.


Holland - Zeeland Deals