8/4/2017 2:24:00 PM Internet concerns about mechanics' lien is a 'non-story' NB city attorney says
One thing’s certain -- the North Branch city law firm Miller & Stevens never has a dull week. The latest item to require attention is a mechanic’s lien making the rounds on the Internet. It was filed against Chisago County and the City of North Branch-- alleging unpaid bills on a development in Interstate Business Park.
City Attorney Vince Stevens advised the city council July 25 the lien is “invalid” and is being released immediately.
The claim, stamped with a Chisago County Recorder’s Office document number and signed by the Weitz Co Vice President and general counsel, was broadly disseminated electronically, accompanied by baseless negative comments alleging the city’s failure to protect itself, questioning the development process, and expressing concern about innocent taxpayers footing the bill.
The Weitz Company LLC, with offices in Florida and Plymouth MN, hired a Minneapolis legal services firm to physically file at the Chisago County Recorder’s Office a $388,604 lien. It was recorded against land co-owned by Chisago County and the city of North Branch in Interstate Business Park.
The Weitz Company declares unpaid bills for design-build services performed for a planned pontoon boat manufacturing project, and the lien says this sum is now the city’s and county’s responsibility as co-owners of the land.
The plant that was allegedly designed, appears to be mired in bankruptcy proceedings.
North Branch City Attorney Vince Stevens remarked, that The Weitz Company must have missed the huge sign on the parcel, that clearly states liens may not be applied to any of the lots.
Neither the city nor the county as uninvolved third parties are responsible for these costs. “This is a non story,” Stevens stated.
He went on to explain that even the notice was served improperly, when the mayor received service at home. The clerk of the city is legally designated to receive notice not an elected official.