Howard Lake-Waverly Herald, March 20, 2000

Wright County public works building has problems

By John Holler

When buildings get old, it is inevitable that some things wear out or break down. But, when a building is only six months old, there shouldn't be problems ­ at least that was the feeling of the Wright County Board at its March 14 meeting.

County Highway Engineer Wayne Fingalson came before the board to ask direction concerning severe humidity problems at the new Public Works Building. He told the commissioners that both extremes are occurring inside the building, ranging from static pressure problems that open the automatic doors to brutal humidity problems.

"When it's warm, pages of paper on desks actually stick together," Fingalson said. "When it's dry, the humidity is only 10 to 12 percent. We've been told the Mojave Desert has humidity higher than that."

The board was frustrated about the problem, as it should have been addressed in the engineering phase of the project, since it is clearly an engineering issue.

The estimated cost of repair is less than $2,000 and something the county board refuses to pay. The contractor, Beutow and Associates, was going to meet with the county that same day to discuss work on the county's remodeling of the Annex Building. Commissioner Pat Sawatzke said the county could then get an immediate answer from Beutow about the problem.

"Just tell (Beutow) that this is their problem," Sawatzke said. "This is a new building and we're having these types of problems only six months later? That's wrong. Tell them if they don't fix this, there's no need to talk to them about Phase II of the remodeling."

The board was scheduled to meet with Beutow later that day and took no action pending a decision by Beutow to make the needed repairs.

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