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City-county panel gives final OK to new ramp

After this summer, parking woes should be lessened in downtown Detroit Lakes.

City and county officials met Friday to approve a proposed $1.5 million parking ramp, which will be located at the back of the Washington Square Mall parking lot across from Wells Fargo.

County Administrator Brian Berg said the structure will include the ground level and a second level, with the possibility of a third level at some future point if needed.

It will allow for excess of 100 parking spots, around 125 likely. Berg said the exact amount will vary depending on any modifications that will be made, for example another stairwell would subtract a space.

The committee had looked at a couple plans in the past, reaching into the $2.5 million range, but Lightowler Johnson Associates came up with this plan, coming in at $1.5 million. The county will pay for the ramp with money budgeted for parking along with the new courthouse expansion.

Berg said upkeep details, such as winter plowing, will need to be worked out with the city yet.

The parking ramp is scheduled to be built this year, but not during the busiest part of the summer to allow for better traffic flow.

"Some prep work (will be done) in the spring before the busy season," Berg said, "and then it'll be kept in a temporary state until fall.