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City of New Ulm files eminent-domain lawsuits

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The City of New Ulm has filed eminent domain lawsuits.

The move comes in connection with the flood levee that was built along front street. At issue are properties that are connected to mortgages.

"The levee has been constructed already; should it flood this year, it will protect the homes, it's just a matter of getting the paperwork all straightened out," said Brian Gramentz, New Ulm city manager.

Now the City is looking to straighten that paperwork out in court with eminent-domain litigations.

"What they're (the lawsuits) intended to do is to clear up the title so that we can issue the check for the easements that we put the levy on," said Gramentz.

New Ulm city officials say filing for eminent domain in these circumstances is a catch-all procedure, because the properties in question are tied up in mortgages.

"So when we're trying to find the mortgage holder, it becomes a pretty-tough deal," said Gramentz. "What this process is all about is one, getting the ability to determine that the lending institution sign off on the levy easement, and also, then we can write the check to that particular person or person and lending institution."

And if those lending institutions don't respond to the lawsuits...

"If there's no response from the lending institutions then it's deemed that the easement has been granted," said Gramentz.

The city says the eminent domain move affects four properties in the vicinity of the levee. One of the institutions involved, Wells Fargo, told News 12 in an email that they 'are currently researching the complaint to better understand the facts of the filing.'