Home > Uncategorized > Eminent Domain at the Morses Line

Eminent Domain at the Morses Line

It's go time

Eminent Domain has been around for a long, long time, in some way, shape and/or form. Typically when a new case is brought to the public’s attention there is usually outrage, albeit locally, followed by a few meetings in the local school or town hall, then the relatively long wait while decisions are being made to the final say by the government which might as well come down to “we had already made up our mind well before the meetings–we’re taking your land.”

Now, this outcome is always sad and I have been witness to a few ED instances over the years. But after a while, you forget how nice that house was and instead marvel at how wide the highway is and how great it is that the drive to wherever is 10 minutes less than it ever was.

And here we are with a new case of ED being played out in the northern most part of Vermont. From the Boston Globe:

The Department of Homeland Security sees Morses Line as a weak link in the nation’s borders, attractive to terrorists trying to smuggle in lethal materials. The government is planning an estimated $8 million renovation here as part of a nationwide effort to secure border crossings.
It intends to acquire 4.9 acres of border land on a dairy farm owned for three generations by the Rainville family. Last month, the Rainvilles learned that if they refuse to sell the land for $39,500, the government intends to seize it by eminent domain
The Rainvilles say the land, where they grow a portion of the feed for 150 head of cattle, is worth far more than the offer.
The Rainvilles suggest that the Morses Line port, where only 14,811 vehicles crossed in 2009, could be shut down altogether. They say the stimulus money would be better spent upgrading the busy Highgate Springs port 11 miles to the west, where Interstate 89 connects with a Canadian route to Montreal. Hundreds of thousands of vehicles cross there each year.

I’m all for making our borders more secure and I agree that there are a lot of places up North that offer unchecked access to America (let’s hope terrorists don’t pick up hiking and discover the Long Trail). But from how it sounds, the Rainvilles have a very good point, as far as expanding the border crossing on Interstate 89. Or if the government must take the land (and we all know that they will), why can’t they pay up?! Push that offer into the six digits and then it won’t seem so bad—the Rainvilles will have a little more breathing room and the Feds can build their multiplex and ensure the safety of all us peace-loving individuals.

Party at the Morses Line! Woo hoo!

Plus, it’ll be just another checkpoint for my friend to get strip searched. There’s something about her the Canadians just don’t like.

Don't panic. Now strip.


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