Tech expansion forcing homeowners to surrender homes in Wisconsin

Many Racine County residents were told they would have to give up their property to make way for Foxconn’s new facility

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To pave the way for a new Foxconn plant, one Wisconsin county is reportedly labeling livable houses as “blighted” in an effort to tear them down.

In an article by Belt Magazine, reporter Lawrence Tabak wrote that Racine County authorities held a public meeting during which they announced plans to proceed with turning over 3,000 acres of farmland, farm houses and rural properties to the Taiwanese electronics manufacturer that will soon open a plant.

Owners of that land attended the meeting to voice their dissatisfaction with those plans.

“The Village is telling us our land is worthless, while at the same time you’re telling Foxconn it’s the best property in the world,” Racine County resident Robby Jensen told the board. “I don’t know how any of you guys can sit here and do this.”

Over the past year, many residents were told they would have to give up their property to make way for Foxconn’s expansion. Several owners received offers for their property, and while some are still waiting to see what they’ll receive, most remain unwilling to surrender their homes.

“We spent our life savings on this thing, and now we gotta move,” 18-year Racine County resident Alfredo Ortiz said at the meeting. “It’s an insult.”

In 2017, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Foxconn signed off on the deal that would bring a flat-screen plant to Racine County — its board pledged $764 million for the project.

Although the development was heavily lauded by Walker and Racine authorities, many local residents were upset about the plant on both environmental and social grounds.

Email Veronika Bondarenko