Rinke Noonan provides experienced, quality legal advice regarding state, local and federal governmental and municipal issues. Our attorneys are leading advisors to governmental entities, contractors and individuals in the area of water law, drainage, and condemnation. We serve as general counsel to numerous governmental subdivisions in the State of Minnesota, including housing authorities, townships, cities, watershed districts and the Tri-County Solid Waste Management Joint Powers Board. We also provide advice and serve as special litigation counsel to county attorneys throughout the State of Minnesota.
Government Law Key Concepts
We successfully represented citizens in major annexation disputes very successfully. Some our work is reflected in the successful the annexation of St. Cloud Township to the City of St. Cloud. Our municipal attorneys assisted the City of Otsego in arriving at a long-term resolution of its decade-long dispute with neighboring towns and cities regarding city borders. We successfully represented a citizens group in its litigation with Le Sauk Township, resulting in major changes in the planning mechanism for the Sartell and Le Sauk area. We assisted the City of Sauk Rapids in completing amicable long-term orderly annexation agreements with its neighboring townships and in agreeing to a permanent long term border with the City of Sartell. Rinke Noonan’s attorneys also helped guide the consolidation of the Cities of Rockville, Pleasant Lake and Rockville Township into one municipality. We not only have knowledge and experience with Minnesota’s annexation law, but also the ability to help neighboring governmental subdivisions build firm future foundations in cooperation.
Our attorneys are familiar with the multitude of economic development tools currently available to assist local governments. We assist both governmental entities and developers in planning and implementing a variety of economic development projects, including tax increment financing, tax abatement, industrial revenue bonds, JOBZ, and other subsidies and incentives for private businesses to build new facilities or expand existing ones.
Personnel & Human Resources
We defend employers in the event lawsuits are commenced. Our litigation team is experienced in all methods of dispute resolution-negotiation and mediation, arbitration and litigation. We successfully represent business, government and individuals in all aspects of employment litigation: federal EEOC charges, Minnesota Department of Human Rights investigations, federal and state litigation, breach of contract disputes, wrongful termination, injunctive relief for breach of covenants not to compete, and disability discrimination. You can count on our experience to guide you to a successful outcome.
Environmental Compliance & Decision Making
For the past several decades, our lawyers have assisted governmental entities in understanding and navigating an ever-increasing array of environmental regulations at the state and federal level. The upcoming decades will see even more change in environmental regulation as older laws become obsolete and as regional and national environmental concerns find their way to the forefront of environmental policy dialogue.
Throughout our history, we have anticipated this growth and change. We remain on the leading edge of environmental policy and are recognized statewide for our experience and expertise in dealing with environmental issues. Whether planning, making decisions or being threatened with litigation, local governments can count on us to provide sound advice and skilled advocacy.
Many communities are facing issues relating to the lack of affordable housing. Many cities find that businesses cannot relocate or expand unless skilled laborers are available for employment. There is also an increasing demand for affordable housing for the elderly. Rinke Noonan has experience working with affordable housing programs and incentives throughout Minnesota, including a substantial practice in low income housing tax credit projects. Our experience with these programs can help assist you in bringing needed housing and development to your community.
City and County Attorney Assistance
Complex zoning, land use and environmental issues can often be more efficiently and effectively handled by outside legal counsel. For over 30 years, our attorneys have assisted city and county attorneys in addressing and resolving legal matters that threaten to consume the municipal attorney’s day-to-day duties and obligations. We understand that public law involves special sensitivity to further the public interest as determined by elected officials. Our attorneys can focus their expertise where needed, when needed, at a significant savings to local government.
Rinke Noonan’s municipal, employment and environmental attorneys can assist local governments with:
• Land use planning
• Economic development
• Housing and Redevelopment
• Storm water management
• Human resources
• Planning/decision making
• Solid and Hazardous waste
• Drainage and Wetlands
• Water quality
• Land reclamation
• Environmental review
• Condemnation/land acquisition
• Data practices/open meeting law
Zoning & Land Use
Our municipal law attorneys regularly represent local governments in reviewing and drafting zoning and subdivision ordinances and amendments. We know the challenges faced by zoning boards and understand how to write ordinances in clear, unambiguous language so they may be properly administered. If you have not fully reviewed your comprehensive planning, zoning and subdivision ordinances in the past three years, it may be time to do so.
Rinke Noonan often represents citizens and businesses who want to cooperate with government to arrive at a successful development project. Our clients with land development needs include grocers, farmers, banks, residential and commercial developers, housing authorities and tax credit developers. Our attorneys assist land developers in navigating and understanding state and local subdivision, environmental , zoning and development regulations, business subsidy agreements, and assessments for public improvements. Land developers can expect our attorneys to solve a variety of problems related to annexation, conditional use permits, rezoning approvals, financing guarantees, land use permits, redevelopment plans, and residential, commercial, and industrial land approvals.
Rinke Noonan has completed the largest Boundary Commission Plat ever done in Minnesota. The Plat in the City of Rockville on Grand Lake, in Stearns County, involved 37 separate property owners. The final plat has 52 lots and over 1 1/2 miles of roadway.
Attorneys David Meyers and John Kolb were principally responsible for the adoption of the plat. They worked with the property owners to first reach agreement on the common boundaries, and then to streamline the procedure through the Courts.
Due to the complexity of the survey work required for the Boundary Commission Plat, Rinke Noonan asked the Court to place Judicial Land Monuments at strategic locations. This will assure the property owners that their lots can be re-surveyed using Judicially determined markers.
The Boundary Commission Statute, Minn. Stat. §465.79, does not give lawyers a lot of direction on how to have the plat confirmed by the Court. Rinke Noonan used a Summons and Notice of Lis Pendens to notify property owners of the confirmation hearing. At the first hearing, the Court adopted an Interlocutory Order confirming the plat and providing for the placement of the Judicial Monuments. The Final Order, including the plat, which set out the property owners, the property tax identification number and all emcumbrances.
Public Contract Requirements
Contract Amounts, Minnesota Statutes Section 571.345
Less than $25,000.00, quotes or open market.
$25,000.00 to $100,000.00, sealed bids, direct negotiation or two quotes.
Over $100,000.00 sealed bids.
Public Contract Bond Requirements, Minnesota Statutes Section 574.26
Contracts over $75,000.00 must include a Payment Bond and Performance Bond.
Contracts under $75,000.00 do not require Bonds, but the Town Board may be liable if payment is made to the general contractor, and the contractor does not pay subcontractors or supplier