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      Residents caught in property debacle

      Residents attempting to pick up their own belongings stored in a hangar at Sawyer were told they couldn't retrieve their items.

      The buildings were leased to a company called Second Street Storage from Sawyer Village Properties and the Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians. According to the tribe's lawyer, when Second Street Storage failed to make several payments, they were evicted and that's when the problem unraveled.

      "I'd like to pick up my trailer and they said I couldn't do it," said Doug Hall. "They're holding my property hostage in some way."

      Sawyer Village Properties and the Chippewa Indians lined the two hangars at Sawyer with caution tape and keep out signs, and Doug and others want to know why.

      Two men own a boat and a trailer that are worth about $17,000 combined, however, they say there's a dozen more vehicles still inside that belong to other residents.

      "When I got here, the door was locked and there was a sign on there that said something about a court proceeding," said Harvey resident, Douglas Ballard. "Got the phone number of the people that own the building, contacted them and they told me that nothing was allowed to be removed from the building at that time, that it was locked, but didn't give me a real reason why other than it was for our own safety."

      A lawyer for the tribe said that after the tenant was evicted, they discovered asbestos and locked down the two hangars.

      "We're dealing with hiring consultants to come in and give us a determination of how bad the asbestos is, whether it needs abatement, and if that's the case, do an abatement in the building," said Saulis Mikalonis.

      If the building needs to be abated, they don't know how long it will take.

      The tribe is requesting property owners to send documentation of ownership to the address below:

      Insurance Department523 Ashmun St.Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783