When a flushing toilet drowns out important meetings, and the desks of police officers are showered with water from a busted pipe, it’s time for Richfield taxpayers to spend $21 million for a new City Hall, Mary Jane Smetanka reports Wednesday.
To the north, our Anoka County correspondent, Paul Levy, has observed similar hazards of civil service.
Working in the Anoka County government center has been an exercise in endurance lately. Little is swept under the rug – not with the carpet being torn up, displacing files and work stations on the building’s fourth floor.
The carpet should be in place by month’s end, long after workers recover from the smell of fresh tar that was placed on the roof of the seven-story building that houses the county courthouse and government offices.
“The smell is nauseating,” Spencer Pierce, manager of the county’s environmental services, said Wednesday. “I believe in an open door policy anyway. But this afternoon, I’m keeping my door open out of necessity.”
County Commissioner Dan Erhart didn’t think the tar on the roof or installation of new carpet was anything more than usual maintenance. But the water pipe that burst on the seventh floor last week was a different matter.
“No, that’s a mess,” he said. “You don’t plan for that.”
The building is hardly falling apart. Other than the burst pipe, which was repaired, the maintenance was all about keeping the building habitable, rather than uninhabitable.