Tuesday, August 31, 2010

That's the Way the City Hall Crumbles

Where has all the tax loot gone?

"Citing decay, New York starts a fight to renovate City Hall" by Sara Kugler Frazier, Associated Press | July 19, 2010

NEW YORK — Officials found widespread failings and alarming decay: cracks through the trusses that support the roof, a rotting basement floor, wiring that was known to spark, and dangerously sagging ceilings.

“It’s gotten to the point where it’s really bad,’’ said Philip J. Kelly, the city official overseeing the project. “It has to be done. It’s amazing no one’s been hurt or there hasn’t been a fire.’’

Recently, just before repairs were to begin in a City Council hearing room, a 10-foot-long, 6-inch-wide piece of plaster molding broke away from the wall and crashed to the floor.

Sort of a sign from above.

The building was once the home of executive, legislative, and judicial operations — including a criminal court and jail — but it is now primarily occupied by the offices of Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the City Council, and supporting operations for both....

When workers first considered the renovation project, the cost was estimated at $65 million. But officials said the expense has shot up to $106 million as crews found more problems when they ripped into walls and ceilings....

The building will get more efficient lighting, heating and cooling controlled by a computerized building-management system, water fixtures and lighting that are activated by sensors, and solar panels on the roof....