DULUTH, Minn. (AP) — St. Louis County has to pay $23,500 to settle a case of trespassing.

In 2008, the county approved Lake Country Power’s request for a permit to bury an electrical cable to residents who had built a home outside of Floodwood.

But the land was owned by Chester and Robin Cullens and they took the matter to court.

St. Louis County Assistant County Attorney Tim Lee says the court found that the county shouldn’t have given the permit.

The county thought the road belonged to them because it maintained it years ago but records didn’t show any recent maintenance and therefore it was considered abandoned.

The Mesabi Daily News reports that Lake Country Power had to pay for the easement and the settlement covers the cost of its damages.

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Comments (3)
  1. Jane says:

    How were the owners negatively affected? It’s burying a cable, not authorizing a major freeway. Yes, the county should be held responsible for the mistake, but 23k for “damages”? This seems like it was just a way to get money from the county when budgets are already tight…

    1. Robin Cullen says:

      The story is not entirely correct and the damages were for the legal fees that were accrued. 53 ft of our property was cleared and gravel was hauled onto our property against our wishes. There was not a house built at the time of the electric installation. The property the electric was ran to was rural vacant land (until the owner contracted a house to be built in June of 2009), that had access from a road south of our property. What would you expect from the county if it was you? I apologize for taking so long to respond but I was just informed of this article yesterday.

  2. Henry says:

    Always remember, wwhen it is fovt money, nothing to worry about and that is the reason we are in the condition we are in I believe.