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As year-long negotiations prove fruitless, city to move on property

The City of Morgantown said a misunderstanding led it to build on private property owned by the Nagowski family, as a part of its recently completed riverfront revitalization project.

Now, after a year of unsuccessful negotiations, the city has filed a Petition of Condemnation in Monongalia County Circuit Court to begin eminent domain proceedings, according to Morgantown Communications Manager Andrew Stacy.

 The Nagowski family owns Wings Ole, at 1125 University Ave. The property in question is the lower parking area near the old depot building.

Dan Nagowski previously told The Dominion Post that he never signed an agreement or easement with the city but verbally agreed the riverfront project could encroach onto about 

35 square feet of his property. He said the resulting restroom facility and adjoining sidewalk ended up covering about 800 square feet and eliminating seven of his parking spaces.

“When the park renovations were being done, the city moved forward with the planned improvements based on the understanding that Mr. Nagowski had agreed to them. Over the past year, the city has tried multiple times, unsuccessfully, to come to a mutual agreement with Mr. Nagowski over the property,” Stacy said. “The city has gone through mediation with Mr. Nagowski, which was unsuccessful as well.” 

 Stacy went on to explain that the city had the entire parcel appraised at $193,800 in June by Chico Appraisal Service. The city offered the full appraised value, plus court expenses tied to the eminent domain action. That final offer was denied.

Morgantown City Council voted in August to move forward with eminent domain if an agreement could not be reached, citing the property’s value to the riverfront park and rail-trail, both of which serve the public interest.

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