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Soil issues adding costs to city projects

Soil problems are costing the city extra money and slowing down the construction of the new city hall and police station.

The City Commission approved a change order Monday night after consultants said a change to the foundation of the city hall addition was needed to combat underlying sand that could not be dried.

YHR Architects said Monday that an extra sheet piling would be needed to support the footings of a planned underground parking unit.

The footings will need extra support that can allow the underlying sand to drain, otherwise the unique type of sand found in that area continue to hold water, likely backing moisture up into the floor of the planned garage.

The cost of the change was estimated at about $111,500.

Commissioners said Monday that perhaps the city should not fit the entire bill.

“I don’t think the city has to pay for this, to be honest with you,” Commissioner Mark Wentz said.

Commissioner Duane Hanson said he was frustrated by the slow progress of the project and the change order’s timing.

Officials with Gast Construction, the general contractor on the $8.5 million project said the change order will not affect the completion date.

Construction on the city hall and police headquarters are expected to be finished by fall 2015.

In other business:

Commissioners voted to deny final approval of an application for a renaissance zone project after a Main Avenue business owner did not follow through with the process.

The commission approved an application for renaissance zone funding from Teresa Pazdernick in November.

The application would have allowed Pazdernick to qualify for state tax grants after opening a Herbalife business at 227 Main Avenue in West Fargo.

Pazdernick remodeled an office building first built in 1957 and was eligible to receive about $6,365 in tax savings if she would have finished the application.

But she never filled out the last part of the paperwork or returned calls, said Economic Development Director Matt Marshall.

“I’ve had no communication whatsoever,” he said. “She can always come back and apply (again).”

Marshall said the business remains open.

Wendy Reuer

Wendy reports for The Forum and West Fargo Pioneer, where she is also assistant editor. A University of Minnesota Morris graduate from North Dakota, Wendy started her career in television news and entertainment in Minnesota and at CBS in Television City, Calif. before working at newspapers in Minnesota and North Dakota. 

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