MORGANTOWN — In a joint statement issued Wednesday, the city of Morgantown and Wings Ole’ declared the “controversy surrounding the misunderstanding with the Wings Ole’ parking lot have been amicably resolved.”
The statement came hours after Morgantown City Council approved a settlement that included a cash payment of $365,000 from the city and appears to be the end of a story that began in September of 2019, when Wings Ole’ owner Dan Nagowski said he verbally agreed to allow the city to encroach onto about 35 square-feet of his property as part of the city’s $4 million riverfront overhaul project.
A short time later, Nagowski returned from traveling to find the city was building a restroom facility and walkaway on about 800 square-feet of his property, eliminating eight of the University Avenue restaurant’s parking spaces.
The city admitted a misunderstanding led it to build on private land, which it had appraised at $193,800 before looking to claim it in circuit court through eminent domain in November of 2020.
Nagowski filed a counterclaim the following month, claiming the city was looking to use the courts to cover the illegal seizure of his property and putting the value of the lost parking at $774,509 based on estimated lost sales over a 20-year period.
Along with the monetary consideration, the settlement between the Nagowskis and the city stipulates the city will create at least two parking spaces adjacent to the property in question or keep a portion of the parcel open for public use, including parking.
The joint statement, provided by Nagowski’s attorney, Mark Kepple, thanks Wings Ole’ employees and ownership, the Nagowski family and City Manager Kim Haws for bringing the issue to a “nice resolution.”
Further, it thanks the Hazel Ruby McQuain Charitable Trust — which bankrolled the riverfront improvements — for its leadership on the project.
“The park is a gift to the City of Morgantown and the community as a whole, providing a wonderful quality of life enhancement.”