City of Orono to drop case against retiree cited for renting dock

Image 1 of 2

The City of Orono has notified a homeowner they are no longer pursuing charges against her over a dock rental dispute on Lake Minnetonka.

According to the homeowner, Nancy Edwards, the city says it will drop the charges within the next year if she remains compliant with city law. Edwards, a 75-year-old retiree, had faced a fine and even possible jail time for the citation.

The decision comes a week after FOX 9 found that the City of Orono had spent more than $3,000 in the legal fees in the case against Edwards.

Edwards said she had been cited last June with violating a city ordinance on renting dock space. After the citation, she says she took steps to make her rental compliant, like changing the terms of the agreement to include the house with the dock. But, instead of dropping the charges, Edwards says the city just changed the violation she faced.

Edwards says she lives on a fixed income and the money she got from the dock rental represented a big portion of her income, which goes towards paying taxes on the property.

Under the new agreement worked out by her attorney, Edwards has agreed to pay $500 to the city over six months to reimburse some of the city's legal fees.

Edwards believes FOX 9's coverage of the battle got the city to back off. “It’s a relief to have it over,” Edwards told reporter Courtney Godfrey.

But, while Edwards is glad her legal troubles appear to be resolved, she says she's disappointed the dock rental ordinance will remain in place.

While looking into Edward's case, FOX 9 found that dock rental rules vary city-to-city, even along the same lake. In the Lake Minnetonka Conservation District, we found cities including Mound, Wayzata, Excelsior, Deephaven, Spring Park and Tonka Bay all allowed rentals while Orono and Shorewood forbade it.