How Much Does the City Fine Itself When Its Own Buildings Aren't Up to Code?

This morning I left a message for Joey Zapata, head of code compliance, to ask how the city handles city-owned buildings that fall out of compliance. Like this one, for instance: This is the former Fire Station No. 35 on on Walnut Hill Lane near Marsh, a circa-1953 structure replaced in December 2008 by the fire station decorated with Eliseo Garcia's sculpture series "Elemental Forces," my second-favorite Triumph album.

I drive by it twice a day and noticed Saturday that someone done busted out a window. This is how it looked this morning. I got out of the car and poked around a little. Place looks like it's been abandoned since 1954. And, last I looked, the old Bachman Lake library on Marsh and Northwest Highway was in bad shape too. For a long while it had some wood covering busted-out windows. Classy.

I did speak to someone in code today. I asked her who tends to empty city-owned buildings with, ya know, issues. Said she: "We do, once we know about them." Which is small comfort, because last I looked the city isn't even sure how many buildings it owns.

Maybe we ought to move it downtown.

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