Polk County Board of Commissioners updated on "waterfall" in East Grand Forks.

    Referred to as the “waterfall in East Grand Forks”, the Polk County Board of Commissioners were updated this week on the devastation of offices due to water damage in the building that houses Polk County Public Health, Social Services, Veterans Office, Tri-County Community Corrections, Tri-Valley Opportunity Council first call and child care resource and referral, Minnesota DEED, Northwestern Mental Health Center and the Occupational Development Center all located on the 1400 block of Central Avenue Northwest in East Grand Forks. Polk County Facilities Director Mark Dietz told the Commissioners that two offices were “completely devastated” and they’re hoping to relocate those offices as soon as possible.

    Dietz explained that they’re in the process of putting in a new roof on the EGF building and “some choices were made” that directly relate to the water damage issue.

    “The carpet was underwater, furniture exposed to water, walls soaked down, tiles falling out of the ceiling and water was squirting out of devices,” said Dietz, shocking the commissioners. “We got a hold of the roofers and patched up and cleaned up, and then on Sunday (April 5) they had a second event where the water was coming in at the other end of the building.”

    Dietz added that the lobby for the NWMHC, the reception area, and the restrooms are all going to have to be “redone” because one wall was so full of water that water was “squirting” out of devices. He also said that Public Health and Tri-Valley were completely saturated in water so they wanted to start on demo work right away before there were more issues like mold or electrical issues.

    “It’s not safe to work there,” Dietz continued with Polk County Administrator Chuck Whiting adding that it’s “nothing the county did” and that the contractor’s insurance company “should” pay for the damage.

    District 5 Commissioner Don Diedrich told Dietz and Whiting to fix it at “warp speed” and asked if any of the tenants were upset about the situation. Dietz said, “Everybody has been extremely good about it and (we) had offers of how they can help.”