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Mississippi National Golf Links case settled

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A black cloud over the future of Mississippi National Golf Links has lifted.

The Red Wing City Council unanimously approve a settlement in litigation surrounding the course Monday, putting an end to the legal battle.

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"We can finally move forward," Council President Lisa Bayley said.

The city filed litigation last fall alleging breach of contract and raising other issues after former operator Wendell Pittenger closed the course.

Associated Bank -- which holds a bond on the course -- also was involved in the suit.

"I am very relieved that we got an agreement reached," Mayor Dan Bender said Tuesday. He said he was happy with the terms as well.

Pittenger must pay the city $140,000 by the end of the month under the settlement. The city also will get back control of the name and logo for MNGL.

The former operator will have to settle the bond issue with the bank, and the city will not be involved.

"A big piece is that the bond goes away," Bayley said after Monday's meeting.

The solution comes just less than three weeks before proposals are due to the city for operating the course in response to a request for proposals.

Those plans must be submitted by Sept. 27, and now they won't have to hinge on the result of the ligation, a concern council members had raised in the past.

"It's going to make all the difference," Bender said of the settlement's impact on the RFP process.

MNGL was closed this season, except for the driving range.

The case also was resolved before the city incurred "major litigation expenses," Bayley said. While there have been costs so far, the process was about to get much more expensive with depositions, a potential trial and other proceedings, she said.

"I'm happy to see this come to a conclusion sooner rather than later," Bayley said. "It's great timing in many aspects."

A summary judgment had been slated for November and a jury trial for February. Those will no longer be needed.

"This was a very good thing for Red Wing to settle this," Bayley said.

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Danielle Killey
Danielle Killey is the city reporter for the Republican Eagle, where she has worked since 2011. She graduated from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities with a journalism degree.
(651) 301-7877
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