Though we can now park in Minot’s downtown parking garages, the projects are far from complete. Seeing as they haven’t been in the news for a few months, I reached out to Derek Hackett, the City of Minot’s Public Information Officer, with a few questions. Here’s the latest information.
Question: Will we see construction on the apartments and commercial space this spring? Please provide a general update on where we’re at with Cypress and the overall projects.
Derek Hacket: Optimistically, it would be in the summer of 2017. Cypress is supposed to give the City a 100% design on the apartments/commercial space by April 21st. If we don’t see those designs, we will start the process of removing the crane on that structure. Cypress was supposed to have designs for the roof on Central by this past Monday, which they did. However, the plans didn’t cover the entire rooftop so we rejected the design.
Question: Can you provide an update on the EFIS project? There appear to be some problem areas on both garages — incomplete coloring in sections and one area where there’s some noticeable degradation — are you aware of and what’s the plan with regards to those issues?
Derek Hacket: Rolac is nearing completion on that project, probably a few weeks left. However, they do have some punch list work that needs to be addressed. Areas where the EFIS is coming off need to be repaired. The white dusty areas need to be removed or painted. The important thing here is we’ll only accept work that meets the specifications and guarantees effectiveness.
Question: There’s been some vandalism/graffiti in the Renaissance Ramp on the middle floor — it’s been there since last fall. What plans do we have in place to remediate the current damage, and whose responsibility is this on an ongoing basis?
Derek Hacket: The tagging is a maintenance thing, so that falls on the management company of the structures, which is Cypress. We have noticed that and have brought this up with them. Ultimately, they are the janitorial servicer for those structures.
Question: How are the parking numbers and revenue? Are they in line with our feasibility study and expectations? Would you provide a brief reminder on the parking agreement we have with Cypress and on an update on whether they’re meeting their obligations?
Derek Hacket: The parking ramps generated $80,677 in combined revenue in 2016.The expenses sit at $125,085 according to Cypress’ records. Cypress pays themselves $8,000 monthly for management. They’re operating at a loss of $44,408. So, the City isn’t losing any money but we’re most certainly not gaining any either. As far as an obligation, it depends on which party you ask. The City isn’t totally pleased with the graffiti and other aspects of management, but they [Cypress] may have a different perspective.
Question: The crane on the Renaissance structure has been sitting in the same spot for what feels like a really long time. Do we have any concerns about that with regards to public safety or the crane causing damage to the structure? And how long of a grace period do we offer the contractor in this situation? What recourse do we have if we don’t see progress?
Derek Hacket: Not at this time. They’ve been doing regular maintenance on this crane and have provided records of that. The crane is designed for a 90 mph wind load. It’s meant to withstand severe storms. That said, if it’s not being used we don’t want it there.
Question: The low-income housing aspect of the projects was at least part of the justification for using CDBG flood recovery dollars — is the Federal government still comfortable with the progress of the projects with regards to the low-income housing components?
Derek Hacket: The low-income housing isn’t required as “urgent need”. So, for the federal government, they just want to have 20% of the apartments to be LMI [Low to moderate income], whenever there are built. We would like to see those sooner rather than later of course.