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St. Louis Park residents sound off after second water main break: 'I'm shaking because I'm so mad'

ST. LOUIS PARK, Minn. -- Neighbors who've been forced to dry out their homes twice now are going directly to their city leaders to find out how repairs are getting paid.

A water main broke twice in two weeks in St. Louis Park. 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'm shaking because I'm so mad," said Jennifer Snyder. "I have two young boys who haven't been able to live in our home, we have been displaced this entire time with no water or furnace."

There's also the emotional loss; families lost photo albums and memorabilia that can't be replaced.

"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.

"Whenever we could, we removed barriers and we addressed pain points," said City Manager Kim Keller. "It's not perfect, but it is a package that works to sincerely recognize the impact that's been experienced."

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.

There is another community meeting on Wednesday night, where residence can ask questions about the claims process. It's at 6 p.m. at the Lenox Community Center.

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