Lowering the arches

Toby Ravnum of La Crosse Sign Group takes down the McDonald’s sign earlier this year in preparation for the North Side restaurant’s relocation.

Erik Daily, La Crosse Tribune

The owners of the George Street McDonald’s restaurant have filed a civil suit against the Wisconsin Department of Transportation to contest the compensation awarded as part of the Interstate 90 Exit 3 and Hwy. 35 project.

Onalaska-based Courtesy Corp. filed a notice of appeal Jan. 12 in La Crosse County Circuit Court alleging the amount awarded the company by the DOT was insufficient to compensate the business for the property at 1140 West George St.

The company was forced to relocate its restaurant at the corner of George and West George streets as part of a highway redesign by the DOT. The new features include a new traffic signal at that intersection, meaning the DOT would requires a larger right of way. The DOT paid Courtesy Corp. for the property; however, according to court documents, the corporation alleges the amount covered property interests and rights including simple fees, access rights and a temporary limited easement, but failed to cover personal property, fixtures and other interests of the corporation.

Both Courtesy Corp. President Rick Lommen and DOT spokesman Michael Bie declined to comment on the details of the matter, citing the pending litigation; however, Bie did say the matter was routine in real estate acquisitions.

The amount the DOT paid for the property was unavailable Thursday. The property has a fair market value of $822,000, according to La Crosse County land records.


Jourdan Vian is a reporter and columnist covering local government and city issues for the La Crosse Tribune. You can contact her at 608-791-8218.

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