After the 5 to 4 ruling from the Supreme Court that basically nullifies the Fifth Amendment, Freeport, TX officials have started the process to seize the property from several businesses in order to build their $8 million dollar private boat marina. Described in this article in the Houston Chronicle, it appears that to create this marina the city would need to displace a multimillion dollar manufacturing company.
With Thursday’s Supreme Court decision, Freeport officials instructed attorneys to begin preparing legal documents to seize three pieces of waterfront property along the Old Brazos River from two seafood companies for construction of an $8 million private boat marina.
Over the years, Freeport’s lack of commercial and retail businesses has meant many of its 13,500 residents travel to neighboring Lake Jackson, which started as a planned community in 1943, to spend money. But the city is hopeful the marina will spawn new economic growth.
“This will be the engine that will drive redevelopment in the city,” City Manager Ron Bottoms said.
Western Seafood spokesman Wright Gore III said the wholesale shrimp company was disappointed with the Supreme Court decision, but believes the ruling does not apply to the city’s eminent domain proceedings. That facility earns about $40 million annually, and Western Seafood has been in business in Freeport since 1946, he said. Gore said there is a provision in state law that allows residents of a city to a circulate a petition to call a vote on whether the city can take property using eminent domain.
The Lords of Freeport are willing to take a chance on putting a company that generates $40 million per year out of business to put in a $8 million dollar marina that may or may not attract a number of hotels. They say that the marina has a potential of creating 150-250 jobs. How many jobs will be lost when you displace this company that currently employs 400 people?
This is only the tip of the iceberg. Now that the Supreme Court has changed cities and towns into feudal states, city officials all over the country are free to pursue their pet projects such as mariana or minor league baseball stadiums. I sincerely hope that where this kind of thing occurs that the people of the city rise up and threaten to throw them out of office.