Fond du Lac Property Owners Anxious to Repair, Frustrated with Process

By KBJR News 1

July 24, 2012 Updated Jul 24, 2012 at 1:03 AM CDT

DULUTH, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) - More than a month after the flood, property owners are still mopping up the damage in Fond Du Lac one of Duluth's hardest hit neighborhoods.

Monday night, homeowners met to discuss whether work they've done is up to code and how to proceed with work left undone.

A lot of property owners, eager to get the ball rolling on repairs, expressed frustration

That's while many city leaders asked residents to be patient because there is a high number of requests for building permits and other related documents to get that work done.

There were a lot of questions ranging from asking for an extension of curbside garbage pick-up, to asking that fees like variance fees to be lowered for flood victims.

Many residents who had already done work on their homes were frustrated to learn, it may possibly not be to code, depending on whether their home is located in a flood plain.

City leaders are asking property owners to take their time to comply.

"To make sure they are getting permits and to just come and ask questions of our office. This is different for everyone and most of these people maybe haven't ever done construction like this before, so they need to be hiring licensed contractors and need to be asking a lot of questions and all they need to do is ask and we will help them" said Wendy Rannenberg, a supervisor for construction services.

At its last meeting the city council approved cutting the construction permit fees in half for flood related repairs.

The city also sent out information to contractors about the difference of codes for homes in a flood plain.

A letter was also sent out to property owners to inform them as well.

Some homeowners are worried about the silt and dirt left on the land by the St. Louis River, and whether it is contaminated.

Since those concerns surfaced the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has stepped in and taken sediment samples.

It will be testing for contaminants such as mercury.

Posted to Web by Jena Pike