The former mayor of our fair city couldn't resist a bargain. So when the sewer company offered to sell the city a condemned building for the princely sum of $1, he leapt at the chance. Then, (and this is the good part) SOMEBODY decided that this condemned biohazardous building was the PERFECT place to stick the PD evidence room.
So we've been here for 6 years now. We've all developed health problems, the cockroaches in the basement constantly challenge us to turf wars (we've ceded them territory, but they want more), and the buliding is all but falling down around our ears, but HEY! We got it for a dollar!
We have begged for a truly functional HVAC system. The current system is all the heat we want in the summer and all the cold we can take in the winter. If they do get the a/c running, it only works at arctic blast levels. If they get the heat running, we work in the KY equivalent of the Sahara desert. It is not uncommon to see us sporting swimsuits and parkas in the same week as we try to cope with the temperature. (sometimes in the same day)
Our parking lot is a wasteland of lumps, bumps, and things that make our tires go flat. Because police officers have no idea how to park intelligently, we have BEGGED for someone to come paint lines on the lot and create actual spaces. Hell, I offered to go do it myself if they'd provide the paint. No dice.
We have broken windows that Facilities tell us they can't fix due to asbestos. If they did what was needed- i.e. rip everything out and install new windows with security grates- they'd have to spend a fortune removing asbestos and we couldn't be in the building for a few weeks. So obviously that can't happen. We now have plastic sheeting duct taped over the windows on one side of the office. Tacky, but effective.
What have we gotten? A federal grant to create a 'green roof' on the top of this broken down dump. They spent something like $1.5 million to resurface the roof (causing the removal of our exterior surveillance cameras which have STILL not been replaced, loss of half the parking lot to the work crews, exposure to all kinds of noise and chemicals, and- GASP- the loss of the cable tv signal for several days. long term readers know which of these was the biggest issue for my coworkers) and put in a lovely little garden. This is supposed to help keep the building cool, and do some other crap that I can't recall at the moment. Oh, and provde a haven for employees to take a break. Which would be great if the only way to get to it was anything other than 4 flights of stairs that lead to another, uber-steep narrow flight of stairs. NOBODY goes up there.
After the rooftop debacle, they got another Federal grant...for a rain garden. Another million or so went to digging up 1/4 of our parking lot and installing this garden with succulent plants and a bench for employees to sit on. It's supposed to collect water from the roof of the unusable garage next to the main building, thus alleviating the amount running through our dying sewer system and keeping the plants pretty. So if summer 2013 is anything like this year's, we'll have our own little Gobi desert out front. And what employee wouldn't want to go sit on a stone bench in full sunlight surrounded by the aroma of homeless guy urine (did I mention that it has become a public potty?) and car exhaust?
Last, (so far) but not least, we have been blessed with the addition of new solar lights in the parking lot. In the section that was already fairly well lit. Not in the far corners of the lot where we can't tell if that shadow is a transformer or a nutjob waiting to run up and kill us. And then they disconnected the old lights, so all we have are the 2 barely glowing solar lights that might illuminate the 3 cars parked directly under them.
THIS is what my tax dollars are going toward?