The Minneapolis Park Board is trying to collect for the damage done last winter by an errant driver in a sports-utility vehicle to Hennepin County's World War I memorial on Victory Memorial Drive in north Minneapolis. But it doesn't look like it will be easy.
The driver slammed into the memorial's flagpole plaza, taking out a granite bench and staining stone pavers with coolant and transmission fluid. The repair bill: $150,000.
An unfortunate event in any case, it was doubly so this time since the flagpole plaza and memorial were rededicated only last summer after a major $6.7 million restoration led by Hennepin County that left the site in pristine condition for the first time in years.
Although the park district has jurisdiction over the site, Hennepin handled repairs because stone suppliers and contractors who restored the memorial still have contracts with the county.
The problem is, the driver had no insurance. For another, he had borrowed the SUV from a person who was leasing it but hadn't made monthly payments on it for some time. The driver abandoned the vehicle after the crash.
The park district paid Hennepin County for repairs and is now hoping to get reimbursed as well by the leasing company.