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Town of Troy won’t back down on lawsuit settlement

In 2006 and 2007, the town of Troy was involved in a lawsuit filed by Paul Madsen of Minneapolis.

Madsen sued the town after it fined him for failing to obtain a building permit or comply with the town’s river way laws regulating alterations and construction on his property located at 208 North Ilwaco Road.

The case was settled with Madsen owing the town $50,000 to be paid over 10 years.

When Madsen made the 2013 payment recently -- it was due Jan. 31, 2013 -- he asked the town board to reduce or forgive the unpaid balance of $26,000.

On Dec. 12 Madsen stood before the Troy Town Board to plead his case, claiming he always thought the settlement amount was “excessively punitive.”

According to Madsen, after four years of conflict with the town and being threatened with fines ranging from $6.8 to $8.1 million, he was ready to “sign anything.”

Town Supervisor Jan Cuccia, on the Town Board when the lawsuit was settled, asked Madsen why he came to the board now -- six years later.

Madsen, a business owner for 16 years, said he has to close down at the end of this month, making future payments a hardship.

Cuccia reminded Madsen he agreed to the settlement, the terms of which include more than the payment amount. “I think it would be a disservice to the town board back then and the taxpayers of Troy to do anything to change the agreement.”

Supervisor Sue Warren pointed out the settlement ended up being “much less than $8.1 million.”

Supervisor David Hense said he’s sorry Madsen is losing his business, but it would be a “slap in the face” to the Town Board that voted on the matter.

Troy’s Town Board voted unanimously to uphold the settlement agreement as is, with no reduction to the amount owed by Madsen.

The complete version of this story can be found in the Dec. 19 print edition of the River Falls Journal.