A New York village is trying to seize a World War II veteran’s grocery store, and they want to use taxpayer dollars to do it.

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The Village of Saltaire on Fire Island has begun eminent domain proceedings in order to seize Frank Whitney’s store, which sustained damage during Superstorm Sandy.

Whitney’s son, Scott, says the village has argued that the damage was substantial, but engineering reports commissioned by the Whitneys as well as the village found far less than 50 percent damage.

The grocery store is the only commercial property in Saltaire.

In a statement, the village said, “Throughout the past year we have been trying, without success, to engage the Whitneys in substantive discussions to advance what they now claim to be their primary objective, which is to renovate and continue to operate the market. That said, however, at various times they have clearly stated their inability or unwillingness to undertake the renovation requirement and despite statements to the contrary, no building plans or architectural drawings of any kind have ever been presented to the Village for review.”

But Frank says he doesn’t need to present architectural drawings. “All we want to do is put it back to the way it was, only newer and more modern,” he said.

Watch the Whitney family’s full interview above.

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