Grand Forks County Commission hears cost analysis report on parking improvement projects

Kleven: Repairs or replacement are imminent due to danger from falling concrete.

The Grand Forks County Office Building. Photo by Nick Nelson for the Grand Forks Herald.
The Grand Forks County Office Building. Photo by Nick Nelson for the Grand Forks Herald.
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GRAND FORKS – County Commissioners on Tuesday were presented with a cost analysis report concerning parking improvements within the city.

Jay Kleven, senior project manager at AE2S Engineering, stressed the need to improve or replace the city’s existing parking structures.

“Some of the necessary repairs are quite imminent,” said Kleven. “There are potential hazards with loose overhead concrete that would either need to be removed or fixed with adhesive.”

Kleven presented the commission with three options for parking improvements.

The first entails renovating the existing structures at a total cost of $6.3 million – with initial repairs of $3.2 million, and a 20-year maintenance plan totaling $3.1 million. This project would provide 330 parking spaces at a cost of $19,060 per space.


The other two projects studied involve acquiring land to build surface lots. Kleven said that although the surface lots have a lower overall cost than renovating the existing structures, they would be unable to offer the same number of spaces due to a lack of contiguous land at the proposed sites.

Commissioner Tom Falck said the board will examine the cost analyses over the coming weeks, but stressed the need to make a decision on which project to pursue promptly.

“The current repairs we are making to the structure have kind of been going down the shredder, since we’re going to have to make major improvements in the future,” said Falck.

The commission also addressed site analysis projects for a proposed juvenile detention facility.

Commissioners approved the request of Mike Johnston of ICON Architects to secure a bid from Terracon Consultants to conduct soil-boring analyses at the proposed facility’s site. The analyses are necessary, according to Johnston, to determine proper excavation and foundation requirements for future construction.

Additionally, the commission approved Johnston’s request for a $21,000 civil engineering appraisal at the aforementioned site by Lowry Engineering. The appraisal, which will be financed by the capital improvements fund, will provide surveying and zoning assessments, as well as the site’s sewage and stormwater disposal capabilities.

In other commission news Tuesday:

  • Commissioners approved a request from County Sheriff Andrew Schneider for the purchase of a Polaris Ranger off-road vehicle. This vehicle will assist the Sheriff’s Office in responding to calls in remote locations, and will be more durable during adverse weather.
  • Nick West, county engineer, petitioned the commission for approval to purchase three new snowblowers, to be outfitted on tractors owned by the county for snow removal, at a cost of $24,976 each. He also requested permission to obtain cost estimates for the purchase of four Batwing mowers, and a new salt truck for the road commission. West said the county’s existing salt truck is from 1980, and has been rendered obsolete by more than 40 years of corrosion. The commission approved both of West’s requests.
  • Bill Gerszewski, manager of the county’s department of building and grounds, requested that a $24,000 contract be awarded to Bergstrom Electric for replacement of the dual air conditioning units at the county courthouse. Gerszewski said the units are obsolete, and that the county has spent nearly $16,000 repairing them over the past three years.
Banish covers news pertaining to K-12 and higher education, as well as county commission coverage.
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