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Angry Residents Lose Homes to 'Ghost Factory'

Foxconn promised to bring 13K jobs to Wisconsin
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 27, 2020 12:30 PM CST

(Newser) – Talk about sad: Sean McFarlane returned to the site of his Wisconsin home to find empty fields, underused buildings, and a hill full of geese. Sitting in his wheelchair, he sighed. "They demolished my house for this? A bunch of geese that sit on a hill?" the 37-year-old tells the Guardian. "It's upsetting. That's where my old house was, and now it's just nothing. You know? Nothing." McFarlane was among hundreds of Mount Pleasant residents pressured out of their homes back in 2017, when officials issued eminent domain orders to make room for Foxconn. The Taiwanese company had promised 13,000 factory jobs and $10 billion in private investment. But few jobs materialized, and the small "factory" is now zoned for "storage."

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McFarlane took a relocation package, while others had their houses seized or dug in for a long fight. "There was a bit of evilness to all of this," says an angry local. "The kind of things they pulled really did traumatize a lot of people." Officials disagree, saying homeowners received 1.4 times their home value and Foxconn is scheduled to start paying $30 million in annual taxes in 2023. But the company has abandoned such plans before, per the Verge, and currently has no comment. As for McFarlane, the Journal Times reported that his $22,000 relocation payment was rescinded in a complex dispute over the property. "I felt like a stupid dummy for trusting them," he said. "I'm just glad we're not in Mount Pleasant any more. Thank God." Click for the Guardian's full article. (Or see why President Trump supported Foxconn.)

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