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Dave Olson, Published July 27 2010

Rourke roof, Gooseberry park shelter on hold in Moorhead

Short two of its members Monday night, the Moorhead City Council tabled several spending decisions, including whether to pay for a new roof for the city-owned building rented by the Rourke Art Gallery Museum.

The question has sat in limbo for some time as council members talked about whether the city even wanted to continue owning the structure.

Under a plan brought before the council Monday, the building would get a new copper roof at a cost of about $118,000, paid for by the city.

As per terms of the lease between the city and the museum, the museum would be obliged to do its best to raise money to cover the entire cost of the roof and contribute a minimum of about $52,000.

Installed correctly, a copper roof could last 100 years, according to a consultant hired by the city.

Because council members Diane Wray Williams and Mark Hintermeyer were absent from Monday’s meeting, the council voted to table making a decision.

It did the same on the question of whether the city should seek bids for the renovation of the main shelter at Gooseberry Park.

The shelter has been closed due to structural damage to its roof caused by flooding.

City staff said many residents have voiced a wish that the shelter be made useable again.

The council is weighing a number of options, including:

Option 4 would be the most expensive at about $750,000, with approximately $387,000 covered by city capital improvement funds and the rest covered by state and federal tax dollars.

Option 3, which has the endorsement of the parks advisory board, would cost about $630,000, with about $267,000 coming from city funds and the rest covered by federal and state dollars.

The tabled items are expected to be taken up again at the council’s Aug. 9 meeting.

In other action, the council gave the final OK to a new ordinance that will make the hosts of events with alcohol liable for underage drinkers.

The law makes it a misdemeanor if a host knows, or reasonably should know, that an underage person is consuming or intends to consume alcohol at an activity and the host does not make a reasonable effort to prevent it from happening.

Police Chief David Ebinger said officers will receive training on the ordinance and it could start being enforced by this weekend.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Olson at (701) 241-5555