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Cars in Grand Forks parking ramp damaged by sealant

After leaks in a Grand Forks city parking ramp corroded the paint on some cars this spring, the city is working to fix the ramp as soon as possible.

City staff first noticed leaks in the joints of the Corporate Center parking ramp downtown last spring, said Brad Gengler, director of Planning and Community Development.

For financial reasons, the city repaired the leaks with a sealant, intending to do further repairs later, he said.

But the heavy rain this spring caused problems earlier than the city expected.

A combination of rain water and the sealant dripping on cars damaged their paint, leading to 14 insurance claims against the city in recent months, Gengler said.

The insurance claims totaled almost $10,000 in damage, which are 100 percent covered by the city’s liability insurance, said Emily Fossen, senior accountant for the city.

Twenty of the Corporate Center ramp’s 357 parking spots are blocked off because of the risk that cars will be damaged there, Gengler said.

The estimated repair cost is $223,150, he said.

City Council members recommended repairs as soon as possible at their Finance/Development Committee meeting Monday. The repair proposal will go to the full City Council for final approvalMonday.

“We don’t have a lot of choice on this” because the concern is immediate, Council member Bret Weber said.

“It has to get fixed,” Council member Doug Christensen said.

Primary users of the Corporate Center ramp are Alerus Financial, Brady Martz and Associates and Camrud Law, Gengler said.

Charly Haley
Charly Haley covers city government for the Grand Forks Herald. As night reporter, she also has many general assignments. Before working at the Herald, she was a reporter at the Jamestown Sun and interned at The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, Detroit Lakes Newspapers and the St. Cloud Times. Haley is a graduate of Minnesota State University Moorhead, and her hometown is Sartell, Minn.
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