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Eminent domain proceedings underway in Crisfield

CRISFIELD, Md.-The owners of a property near the Crisfield Wasterwater Treatment Plant could soon lose their land to the city.

City Attorney Michael Sullivan said eminent domain proceedings—the right of government or its agent to take private property for public use— are underway. The city needs the property for its wind turbine project.

Crisfield residents Weldon and Felda Massey own the vacant concrete apartment building that is footsteps away from the plant.

Massey told WBOC that they are against the city’s push to take over their property.

Some people think they should not have to give it up.

“ If the people don’t want to sell it to them, they’re just out of luck,” said Charles Larry, who lives in Crisfield. “Nobody should have to give their property up if they don’t want to.”

The city purchased three properties next to the plant for the project. The turbine will provide power to the plant. City Inspector Noah Bradshaw said the turbine will offset electrical cost by more than $200,000 annually.

Margaret Bush, who lives in Crisfield, thinks the city’s push for ownership is not a bad idea since the property is vacant.

“I believe they have the right to take it [property] for this wind turbine project,” Bush said. She said the city should take it over because the property is not being used, and it could be earning taxes for the city.”

The 750-kilowatt wind turbine will be built at the end of Dixon Street. The project cost $4,183,000 and was funded by the state.

Sullivan said legal proceedings will not delay the project in Somerset County.