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New City Hall Construction Raises Parking Concerns - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

New City Hall Construction Raises Parking Concerns

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Architects are back to the drawing board refining what the new Fargo City Hall will look like. The Fargo City Hall Committee says more planning for the budget and parking problems are still being worked out.

Valley News Team's Kristi Larson talked with city leaders to ask where they are in the process, and what will happen with parking as more construction takes up space.

The site of the new building will be on the north end of the current Civic Center parking lot. Earlier this month the committee chose a design but recently have asked the architect group to go back and re-work it.

"That's part of the process of the architectural fee, and we wouldn't charge you more we would just work it refining what we have," says Terry Stroh of TL Stroh Architects & Design.

Earlier projections for the cost of city hall were between ten and 14 million dollars, but that number has now climbed as high as 15 to 20 million dollars.

"It is not a simple project, and we look at this project as somewhere between 50 to 75 years it's going to serve the people of Fargo," Fargo Mayor Dennis Walaker explains.

One problem the with the building is also a common problem down town, parking. Mayor Walaker agrees with the City of Fargo Planning Director Jim Gilmour that as the new building is constructed more spots will be needed.

"The architects have been trying to plan for how many spaces could we get on a surface level or under the building," says Gilmour. "For the rest of it, we know we need to look at a parking lot a block away or some sort of a parking ramp."

The current problem for the Department of Planning & Development is finding land in the downtown area to build ramps, as current private property owners aren't selling.

"We're looking at the feasibility of adding another deck on to the ramp adjacent to the Radisson," Gilmour says.

And despite not having the lots to build ramps, it also would cost the city six million dollars to add 300 parking spots.

"The Parking Commission we want to build another parking ramp," Gilmour admits, "and I joke we don't have any money we don't have any land, but other than that we're ready to go."

The commission knows it is a necessity they may need in the future, but the parking commission has to wait until the city hall committee makes its final decisions on the new building. Although there are still many details to work out city leaders are staying positive about the process.

"We're not just building a building, what we're doing is trying to build something we can all be proud of." Mayor Walaker says.

The Parking Commissioners Meeting will be this Friday morning at 8 a.m., and the next meeting for the Fargo City Hall Committee on the new city hall will be on March 5.

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