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Orono drops prosecution of homeowner who rented out her dock

The 75-year-old had been renting out the dock to help pay property taxes.

The City of Orono has suspend its prosecution of a lakeside homeowner who it had accused of violating a local ordinance by renting out her dock.

Nancy Edwards, 75, had been renting out her dock on Lake Minnetonka in order to cover some of the $1,000-a-month property taxes she has to pay on the cottage she inherited from her parents.

She would rent out the dock during the summer months to a Chaska man who uses the lake along with his two children, but the City of Orono said this was violation of a city ordinance that bans homeowners from renting dock space. 

To become compliant with the ordinance, Edwards entered into an arrangement with the family whereby she leases them her cottage as well as the dock for the summer, while they added her to the boat's title.

But FOX 9 reports that Orono didn't drop the prosecution, instead alleging that she was violating property rental license laws. 

On Thursday, Edwards was informed that the city would be suspending its prosecution against her, with an agreement document obtained by BMTN revealing all Edwards has to do is pay $500 in costs over the next 6 months, and remain in compliance for a year.

Speaking to the Lakeshore Weekly, Edwards said she was "shaky" after the agreement had been struck, but added: "I’m glad it’s over. I really am. And that it didn’t go all the way to the Supreme Court."

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Her attorney, Erick Kaardal, told the Star Tribune that the city suspended the prosecution after realizing she was now in compliance, and as a result of the decision she will can now afford to stay in her home.

The City of Orono sent this statement to BMTN: "The City and Ms. Edwards reached an agreement whereby Ms. Edwards would undertake to remain compliant with the requirements of the ordinances in question and would pay an agreed upon prosecution costs and the City would suspend its prosecution of the case for a one year period, conditioned on Ms. Edwards abiding the terms of the agreement.

"Provided there are no violations of the terms of the agreement, the case will be dismissed at the end of one year. No additional court appearances are anticipated and the dismissal will be administratively processed by court staff."

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