Legal fees grow with construction project in West Saint Paul
As the summer starts to wind down in Minnesota, so does construction season. The summer months are often plagued by closed roads, massive construction zones and traffic delays. However, people may not realize that construction effects more than their commute. For the people who own property near the construction zone, a construction project can be the cause of a major legal dispute.
In particular, many construction projects are accompanied by eminent domain claims. Under eminent domain laws, local, state and federal government can take personal property away from the property owner. But, the government must properly compensate the property owner for the taking. As roads are repaired or reworked, the government may take a portion of land from a property owner — this taking needs compensation.
The city of West Saint Paul understands this all too well. The city has recently had to increase its legal budget from $480,000 to over $1 million for the Robert Street reconstruction project.
The city has approved a massive overhaul of its main shopping corridor. In the $42 million project, the city is redesigning and repairing much of the busy stretch in hopes of making the street safer for visitors. The hope is that the project will eventually attract customers to the businesses that line the streets.
However, in the meantime, the city must deal with its eminent domain claims. At this point, the city has settled with at least half of the affected property owners. A small amount of property owners are expected to exercise their right to a full condemnation case to assess how much value they are losing in the process.
Property owners in West Saint Paul and across the state of Minnesota need to understand their legal rights when it comes to governmental takings. People deserve fair compensation for government action. A condemnation case can help to protect a person’s interests.
Source: The Star Tribune, “West St. Paul’s legal costs grow for Robert Street redo,” Jessie Van Berkel, Sept. 15, 2015
Image Source: Star Tribune