After back-to-back water main breaks caused St. Louis Park homes to flood with sewage twice in less than two weeks, city officials are moving forward with a plan to reimburse property owners.
"It's unimaginable that we're back here today talking about now two water main breaks on the same section of pipes," City Manager Kim Keller said during the St. Louis Park City Council meeting on Monday.
The first water main break occurred May 21. A second break, impacting many of the same homes, followed on June 3. Both events flooded homes with sewage, causing extensive damage and clogging floor drains with sludge.
Under a plan adopted by the St. Louis Park City Council on Monday, property owners flooded by the first water main break will be able to seek reimbursement from the city up to $60,000 on expenses not covered by insurance. Residents impacted by both events will be able to seek up to $80,000.
City officials were originally shown a proposal by staff to offer loans to affected homeowners, but officials ultimately scrapped the idea in favor of higher reimbursement amounts.
During Monday's meeting, residents shared emotional testimony about the mental and physical toll of the flooding and many said they've lost trust in the city.
City leaders say they haven't determined the exact cause of the breaks, but a city constant said brittle pipes, soil conditions and rusted bolts are some common causes.
Another community meeting is planned for Wednesday to share further information on funds also available through the League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust.