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Wings Ole property line dispute

“It’s absolutely stupid and it’s all a matter of public record.”

That’s how Dan Nagowski, the owner of Wings Ole, located at 1125 University Ave., explained the city building part of its ongoing riverfront improvement project on his property — eliminating seven of his parking spaces in the lower lot next to the rail trail.

While he never signed anything, Nagowski said he verbally agreed in September to allow the project to encroach onto about 35 square feet of his property. The structure and adjoining walkway that was built takes up about 800 square feet, he said.

“Lo and behold, two months later, they build a building bigger than what they said and in a totally different orientation, and then added a walkway wiping out seven of my parking spots,” Nagowski said. “All that without ever having received easement documents from the attorney. I never signed anything. I was waiting for them to send it for that little corner I agreed to — certainly not what they ended up doing.”

Nagowski said he began by talking to a construction manager in December and ended up talking to Phil Weser, co-founder of March Westin, the contractor in charge of the project. Both of whom said they were just following the plans provided.

He then reached out to Steve Farmer, a trustee with the Hazel Ruby McQuain Charitable Trust, which is funding the $4.1 million project. Farmer got him in touch with Morgantown City Manager Paul Brake, with whom he met last week and to whom he showed the deed for the property as well as the purchase contract and a survey of the encroachment.

Asked about the situation, Morgantown Communications Manager Andrew Stacy said the city is committed to working with Nagowski to remedy the situation.

“The property in question involves the parking lot used by Wings Ole customers and the new restroom facility at the Hazel Ruby McQuain Riverfront Park,” Stacy said.

“It appears that a portion of the construction improvements at the park encroached on the Wings Ole parking lot.”

Asked what he wants to see happen, Nagowski said “I want my property back.”

“I didn’t buy that property to give it away to the city,” he said, later adding, “It’s crazy because just imagine if I had built on the city’s property. I would have to tear everything down right there and then at my own cost.”

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