City Hall sees drips and pools throughout building

Mother Nature has taken its toll in City Hall with water leaks staining ceilings and pooling on desks and in carpets.

Over the years, the building, scheduled for a rehabilitation, has suffered from the effects of heavy bands of rain.

The issue is mostly related to poor drainage from the roof, which has been repaired but remains about a quarter of the way unfinished, according to Adam Winder, general manager of city streets and parks department.

Water damage occurred in offices on the second floor, first floor and basement, according to a survey of employees.

Rooms could be seen with stained and wet ceiling tiles dripping water that soaked desks.

Some employees were concerned about mold forming, a hot topic at area school districts sustaining similar environmental and health and safety issues.

With the 4 to 6 inches of rainfall from the remnants of Tropical Storm Gordon, the streets and parks and flood-control department had its hands full with maintaining pump stations and monitoring Grafius Run.

Some veteran city hall workers said Tuesday they noticed how the air conditioning duct work collects the moisture, causing it to back up in the system and leak.

“If they see mold they need to tell me,” Winder said.

Codes Administrator Joseph Gerardi, who oversees the department trying to eliminate blight and ensures building codes and rental inspections are kept up to date, said he has his own water issue in his basement office.

William E. Nichols Jr., city finance director, said the city has approved spending $450,000 on city hall repairs, with $50,000 to be spent on architectural and engineering costs related to fixing the issue.

Among the expense on city hall includes security upgrades but it isn’t known whether the leak prevention costs will take up most of what the city has to spend, according to Nichols.

That can be better determined when the architect and engineering reports are provided to the administration and council in coming days, he said.