MANKATO, Minn. — The owner of a Minnesota construction company is offering a reward for information leading to the person or persons responsible for an alleged act of sabotage targeting a utility project in a new development near Mankato.
Joe Holtmeier of Holtmeier Construction says someone drilled small holes in at least six sections of water pipe intended for a residential development just outside the city off County Road 26/227th Street last week.
The vandalism was discovered and documented on Thursday.
Holtmeier also believes that a large sewer pipe that failed a pressure test also likely had holes drilled in it before installation that crews failed to notice. That pipe will need to be replaced, and other previously installed sections of water pipe will need to be removed and replaced if they fail pressure tests that will now be performed.
The company believes damages and labor costs associated with the vandalism could approach $25,000. Holtmeier told the Mankato Free Press he suspects the activity is “sabotage” by someone with industry knowledge who wanted the holes to go unnoticed until after the pipes were installed.
He says he does not know what the motive might be, and does not know of anyone who would want to harm his company.
Holtmeier is offering a $5,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest and conviction. Detectives from the Blue Earth County Sheriff's Office are investigating.