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City Lawsuit: Apt. Building Illegally Pumping Water Into Chain Of Lakes

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(credit: CBS) Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The City of Minneapolis is suing the owners of an Uptown apartment building because the city says thousands of gallons of water are illegally pumped into the chain of lakes each day.

And on Wednesday, the Minneapolis Park Board will hold a special session meeting to discuss what’s happening in the lagoon between Lake of the Isles and Lake Calhoun.

David Bryan helps plan the annual City of Lakes Loppet Ski Festival, including an early February luminary that’s held on the lagoon in question.

“There’ll be 5,000 people coming through here at night, skiing on this candlelit path,” he said.

But this year he said that will be a bit more complicated, as he references the 170 gallons of warm water that’s being pumped into Lake Calhoun every minute.

The city claims water is coming from under the condo complex and that it’s illegal. The city is now filing a lawsuit against the owners, as the flow is “jeopardizing the safety of cross-country skiers on the lake” and has “prevented routine maintenance, causing other adverse environmental impacts.”

The city said the owner does not have permission – from neither the city or the state – to pump groundwater from its property into storm sewers or the lagoon. The city said it has asked the owner to stop.

WCCO contacted the people who run the building. Lynne Wyffels, with the Shelard Group, Inc., sent the following statement to WCCO:

“It is our understanding that the City of Minneapolis attorney’s office received approval from the City Council to authorize a lawsuit. There is a distinction between authorizing a lawsuit and commencing one. Our intention is to continue to work towards a resolution with our consultants and the City to find a mutually acceptable solution. Our hope is that the City will continue with their willingness to do the same.”

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