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St. Louis Park OKs $4 million for water main repairs

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ST. LOUIS PARK, Minn. — The St. Louis Park City Council has approved $4 million for water main repairs.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported Tuesday that the money will go to repair mains that broke twice in the same neighborhood. The first break affected more than 55 homeowners with up to 3 feet of sewage water and sludge filling their basements. An estimated 22 homes were affected in the second break.

The relief funding comes from multiple sources, including the city's insurer, the League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust, the city's general fund and federal COVID-19 relief aid.

A water main broke twice in two weeks in St. Louis Park -- on May 21 and June 3. Homeowners say it caused several feet of sewage to back up into their homes, costing tens of thousands of dollars to fix. Many showed up at a city hall meeting on Monday night demanding answers.

"I had my photo albums from my parents, photo albums from my daughter, you know all her baby pictures. Yeah, that's the tough stuff," said Gretchen Detra.

With bills and frustration mounting, the city proposed a new financial package. Between city insurance and reimbursement, those affected by the first water main break would receive up to $100,000, or up to $120,000 if affected by both. A loan program was proposed, but was eventually cut in favor of increasing the city reimbursement funds.

With the cause of the break still unknown, the city plans to work with a third-party consultant to investigate, and will allow homeowners in on the selection process.

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