The Mankato City Council Monday night weighed the opportunity and costs of expanding the downtown Eide Bailly Parking ramp for about 16-thousand 200 dollars a stall.

To pull off the expansion, footings would need to be installed to allow for an additional level to be constructed on the ramp. The footings carry a price tag between 85-thousand and 135-thousand dollars.

Officials estimate the addition of 50 new parking stalls would be approximately 800-thousand dollars.

“We did approach this from the standpoint of what would be the cost and how would we finance property owners interest in expanding it,” says Mankato City Manager Pat Hentges. “You know, ramps are very expensive. So, the footings does allow for that in the future, but there was really no commitment. Everybody would like the option to consider it down the line.”

Mankato City Manager, Pat Hentges.

One option the city could consider to pay for the footings is using the Economic Development Fund, in turn the tax increment financing (TIF) district could be amended to add an additional year of payments that would be directed back to the EDA.

With an interest in the ramp for public parking, City Officials say it could be an option to purchase the privately owned ramp in the future and securing the potential for expansion could be in city’s best interest.

“I think 25 years from now, needs for that ramp may be dramatically different. You know, driverless cars, better public transportation. The other thing that I would point out is that you need to look at the amount of maintenance we’ve put into our current ramps.”

Mankato owns the Cherry Street and 2nd Street ramps that already have the capacity to be expanded.

The City Council elected to further consider the issue at its meeting on July 23. It will take up a resolution to set a public hearing for September 10 to discuss amending the TIF district to fund footing the project.