Robert Wheeler’s rural Milan home, which he said dates to 1823, belonged to Thomas Edison’s oldest sister — his great great grandmother.
The residence is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The home and the more than 100 acres belong to him and his wife, Linda.
Wheeler said he doesn’t want trees removed to make way for a Nexus Gas Transmission pipeline that could snake through his property and end up in Canada.
But Nexus isn’t going down without a fight.
An Erie County judge has denied the company’s request for a temporary restraining order against Wheeler and nearby property owners, which would’ve kept them from not allowing surveyors onto their property.
Surveyors had contacted the Wheelers in advance, allowing them by law to come onto the property for surveying.
However, Wheeler said he asked them to leave, and called authorities. Wheeler said the individuals called Nexus officials, who told them to leave. As the police were pulling in, the surveyors left, Wheeler said.
The company’s next step is to seek a preliminary injunction seeking authorization to survey the land to prepare for possibly installing the pipeline under the properties.
A bench trial in Erie County Common Pleas Court for that purpose was originally scheduled for Sept. 28, but Judge Tygh
M. Tone has cancelled the trial for that date. As of Monday, court officials haven’t rescheduled the trial.
“I intend to keep fighting whether the judge (approes the injunction) or not,” Wheeler said.
He said there are nine acres of prairie around his property and he believes in preserving his property.
“This is my great, great grandparent’s farm,” Wheeler said. Specifically, it belonged to Marion Edison Page, he said. “At the very least I don’t want them going thru our property.
“It means everything to us and it means nothing to them,” Wheeler said, referring to Nexus officials.
Paul Gierosky co-founder of Coalition to Reroute Nexus, said there are about a dozen Milan area residents who are in a similar situation. Tone, the Erie County judge overseeing the case, has denied Nexus’ request for a temporary restraining order to prevent the residents from not allowing surveyors onto their property.
“It’s a really huge deal. This is about property rights,” Gierosky said. “This is about one of the fundamental pillars of what our country was founded on.”
Wheeler said the pipeline is no small matter.
“This isn’t your grandma’s 10-inch gas line,” the area resident said. “These things are huge.”
He added that when state offcials wrote laws developing Ohio’s infrastructure, “they had no ideas that these high-pressure, highvolume piplelines would come along.
“(Nexus takes) all the profit, we take all the liability,” Wheeler said. “This is not for America. It just doesn’t help America.”
This article was written by Aaron Krause from Norwalk Reflector, Ohio and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.