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Engineer concludes no structural deficiency found at Paynesville City Hall

PAYNESVILLE -- An engineer hired by the city of Paynesville has concluded a crash at City Hall caused no structural damage.

"Better safe than sorry," Mayor Jeff Thompson said. "But (the engineer) said there is nothing really to be concerned about."

On May 14, a motorist pulled into the building's parking lot, jumped the curb and crashed into the southwest wall of City Hall. Thompson said the damage was extensive, noting that staff could see through the exterior wall before the city patched the hole with sheets of plywood.

In a previous interview, Thompson said city employees observed some cracks in drywall while the damaged area was being rebuilt. The city was concerned the cracks were related to the crash, Thompson said, so a structural engineer was hired to inspect the building as a safety precaution.

"In every building you're going to see cracks in drywall, seams and corners," Thompson said. "So not an issue there."

Thompson said the city halted reconstruction during inspection. He said the city won't finish the reconstruction until the weather warms up. Thompson hopes crews will return to work within the week.