Regarding the April 20 Focus article “Uncertainty surrounds proposed CSX hub”: The location of a CSX intermodal hub is a topic abuzz among Johnston County residents.
My grave concern is grounded in private companies being able to use eminent domain to force property owners to relinquish rights to their real property.
Some supporters of the hub’s placement in Four Oaks or Selma assert puzzlement over landowners not willing to accept a “once in a lifetime opportunity” to sell their property above market value. I understand the allure of instantaneous wealth, even though the wealth may expend expeditiously upon its endowment. I understand the value the landowners place on their soil, a resource that takes hundreds of years to form.
However, placing the power of eminent domain into the hands of private companies is a perilous step in the dissolution of our democracy. The loss of property rights for future generations represents a loss that cannot be remunerated by any amount of money.
Hopefully, CSX can locate a suitable site where landowners are willing to sell. I challenge the businessmen and politicians involved in the fervent marketing of property that is not for sale to assist CSX in this quest for sites that are for sale.