Tifton City Hall in danger of collapsing - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Tifton City Hall in danger of collapsing

Experts say it's not a matter of if part of the historic building will fall but when. The Myon Complex is home to a handful of businesses in downtown Tifton, but the side that's at risk is home to City Hall. Now city employees are packing up and moving out.

City leaders set aside money to do some renovations to city hall, but when an architect did an in-depth inspection of the building, he discovered some serious structural problems.

When you walk into city hall, this red danger tape is the first thing that catches your eye. "The building is deteriorating unfortunately," said Rona Martin.

An inspection revealed parts of the building, like the skylight, the stairwell, and parts of the roof were unstable..and if it were to collapse could cause a catastrophic event. "You can see that the roof is starting to move inward, portion on the exterior building that is starting to bulge out," she said.

While you may not notice any signs of deterioration from the outside, the inside is a different story. "The stairs are leaning a little bit to the right," she said.

Rona Martin has been working in the building for 14 years, "As you walk this way we are sloping downhill a little bit," she said.

She says over the years, she along with many others have grown quite fond of the historic building. "It is very sad to me to know that we have to leave the building, but we have to do what is right for our employees

But it's not a matter of if the building will fail but when. "It really put us on notice that this is not something that we can put off, and we are not," she said.

City officials aren't taking any chances. As soon as leaders got word, they devised a plan to move all 27 city employees out of the building.

Most of the city employees will move to the Utilities building on Ridge Avenue, the utilities employees will move to the public works complex. Altogether 206 city staff will be someway affected by the move.

But not the entire complex is in danger. "The calls have been coming in, with one question..are we safe," said BJ Smith.

Smith owns two restaurants in the Myon Complex and she wants to let people know her part of the building is safe.

"Our part of the building is safe, if we thought for a moment it wasn't safe we would be doing exactly what the city of Tifton is doing,

City Hall has been housed in the building for 25 years.

Thursday, city hall will be closed so customer service department can move over to the utilities building. They will be up and running from the utilities department on 204 North Ridge Avenue on Monday morning.

The Architect estimates it would cost nearly four and a half million dollars to do all the repairs that are needed.

After everyone is moved out safely,  city officials will talk about future plans for city hall.

Copyright 2011 WALB.  All rights reserved.   Feedback

Powered by Frankly