Roof collapse at Minnesota water park highlights failure to enforce codes

Rural areas say they can’t afford to enforce state-adopted building code.

May 22, 2015 |
Roof collapse at Minnesota water park highlights failure to enforce codes

Some say that many governments in the Minneapolis metro area don't enforce building codes, which may have been the cause of a roof collapse at an indoor water park in the state. Image: Pixabay/jarmoluk

After the roof collapsed at the Thumper Pond Resort water park in Ottertail, Minn., last month, Minnesota media has highlighted the fact that many areas of the state do not enforce the state building code.

The roof collapse occurred around midnight on April 14 when the park was closed. There were no injuries. There were no high winds, snow, or other obvious causes indicating why the roof on the 10-year-old water park collapsed.

Many Minnesota governments outside the seven-county metro area that includes Minneapolis don't enforce the state building code, according to MPR News. That law requires inspections throughout a new construction process. But just 21 of the 87 Minnesota counties enforce it, according to the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry.

Licensed contractors are required to build according to the state building code to construct a commercial or lodging facility in a remote area, but most of these projects proceed without a building official to provide oversight. Rural governments say they can’t afford to provide that service.

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