- Associated Press - Friday, August 5, 2016

MINOT, N.D. (AP) - The city of Minot has to put even more money into two new downtown parking ramps that have been plagued by problems, further frustrating city officials.

The ramps opened earlier this year after years of construction marked by contractor disputes and delays. The original bid was $10.5 million, but the ramps ended up costing nearly double that.

City Manager Lee Staab informed the City Council this week that the exterior of the ramps isn’t sufficient to protect the structures from weather damage. City Engineer Lance Meyer said that ultimately could affect electrical and mechanical systems.

Mayor Chuck Barney called it “a bitter pill to swallow.”

“It’s like building a new house and finding out after the building got done, ‘oh you want siding on that house?’” he said. “Obviously you’re going to put the siding on and you’re going to be very upset about it. I’m upset about it.”

The City Council authorized spending $4,800 on architectural fees. The cost of a new exterior finish isn’t yet known. Funding would come from cash reserves from city sales tax revenue. Officials hope to complete the work before winter.

Newly elected council member Stephan Podrygula called the parking ramps the “biggest mess” he has seen involving the council.

“The key thing at this point is learning from our mistakes,” he said. “I don’t think this should ever happen again in the city of Minot.”

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