by Joni Astrup
Plans are moving ahead to resurface the wall of Elk River Meats that was exposed when the city-owned buildings next door were torn down.
The Elk River Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA) voted 5-0 March 5 to authorize improvements to the wall of the meat market at 724 Main St. in downtown Elk River. The HRA considered three options and went with an exterior insulation finish system (EIFS) and synthetic stucco at a cost of about $29,000.
Elk River Building Official Bob Ruprecht said with EIFS a layer of foam insulation is typically glued to the wall and covered with an acrylic finish. He said it usually has a smoother texture than concrete stucco, which is on the building’s other three sides.
The other two options considered for the wall were:
•traditional concrete stucco at a cost of $33,000.
•filling in areas of missing brick with filler brick and tuck-pointing any missing or deteriorated mortar joints at a cost of $4,200, which wouldn’t include the cost of painting the wall.
“I hesitate to do the cheap way,” said HRA Member Larry Toth. The area where the two buildings were demolished will be turned into a parking lot with amenities and “we need to have a wall that’s going to be uniform.”
Other HRA members agreed.
Bob Robeck of Elk River Meats, who was in the audience, also told the HRA he likes the idea of the EIFS.
The city has received two quotes for the wall work. Toth encouraged Ruprecht to seek others to see if the price can be lower.
The city is responsible to improve and weatherproof the wall under a wall agreement with Elk River Meats. Once the improvements are made the wall’s maintenance will be the responsibility of the meat market, according to Elk River Director of Economic Development Annie Deckert.
The newly exposed meat market wall is actually the wall of the adjoining 720 Main St. building that was demolished. Deckert said the structural engineer recommended that it be left in place. “They weren’t entirely sure if we took that wall down what would happen to the actual meat market wall,” Deckert said. There is about a four-inch gap between the two walls, she said.