Watertown city council member and mayoral candidate Rick Mann confirmed this week that a legal matter between himself and the City of Watertown — first reported in January — relates to the construction of a roundabout in front of his home in 2010 that forced the alteration of his front yard and driveway.
The issue was first reported in the January 19 edition of the Carver County News after city officials and council members met in closed session on Dec. 21 to discus what was described as threatened litigation by Rick and Laurie Mann against the city. No other details were provided about that meeting, which was closed to the public because of attorney-client privilege. Both Mann and city administrator Luke Fischer declined to comment at that time.
However, the issue resurfaced last week when a Watertown resident questioned Mann about that issue in a Letter to the Editor in the Oct. 11 Carver County News. Mann responded on Monday by saying that the issue was related to a disagreement over how much damage was caused to his property during construction of the roundabout at the intersection of County Highways 10 and 20.
Mann’s home is on the west side of that roundabout, and part of his yard and driveway were altered to make room for the new roundabout. Mann’s home was one of 24 properties that were affected by the reconstruction of County Road 20 from Paul Avenue to Highway 10.
According to Mann, the county’s appraisal valued damage to his property at less than $2,000, but the Mann’s independent appraiser said damages were more than 10 times that amount. Mann said he and his wife have not filed suit against either the city or county regarding the joint construction project, and in a Letter to the Editor this week, Mann said he hopes the differences can be resolved through mediation. Mann’s letter can be found on Page 4.
Mann has been on the Watertown City Council since 2004. He is currently serving as acting mayor after K.J. McDonald’s death on Oct. 4. Mann is running against Charlotte Johnson in the Nov. 6 election mayoral election.