- Associated Press - Friday, September 2, 2016

MINOT, N.D. (AP) - It could cost Minot about quarter of a million dollars to finish two new downtown parking ramps that have been plagued by problems.

City officials learned last month that the ramps’ exterior isn’t sufficient to protect them from weather damage and the cost of fixing the problem isn’t covered by the developer. The city then authorized spending $4,800 on architectural fees.

Architects have since concluded that fixing the problem will cost between $226,000 and $251,000, according to the Minot Daily News (https://bit.ly/2bEZOpH ). Funding is to come from cash reserves from city sales tax revenue.

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 final cost was nearly double that.

Fixing the exterior will add to the final cost. City Manager Lee Staab has said it’s necessary to prevent damage to electrical and mechanical systems.

The city’s Finance and Improvement Committee this week voted to recommend the city proceed with a call for construction bids.

The material that will be used can’t be installed at temperatures below 40 degrees, which could be an issue in the fall, but architect Gloria Larsgaard said heated shelters could be installed around work areas.

The current exterior finish has been criticized for giving the ramps an “unfinished” look, despite student artwork that has been added to brighten them up.

“The sooner this is done the better,” said Pam Karpenko, a planning commission member and a downtown business owner. “I am more concerned about getting rid of that ugly yellow building.”


Information from: Minot Daily News, https://www.minotdailynews.com



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