The City Council chambers are built over grease pits of the former city shop garage; other parts of the City Hall have no foundation - sitting only on temporary timber crates.
"The building embarrasses me," City Manager Ron Olson told the City Council Tuesday night when several council members balked at a plan to spend about $140,000 for an addition to the building to consolidate some city functions and provide additional work space to relieve crowding.Olson said working conditions in the hodgepodge building are inefficient and that extra space is needed because the city won't be in a position to build a new facility from the ground up for another 10 years.
"It's too hot, or it's too cold. It's inefficient. There's no place to put your junk - it ends up sitting by your desk. It's terrible. It's a standing joke," Olson said unabashed.
Mayor Kristin Lambert was unenthusiastic about spending more money to add additional prefab sections to a building nobody likes, but she agreed it's likely to be the only building the city has for a while.
Maybe it needs a sign out front that says "Don't laugh, it's paid for," Lambert joked.
A good deal of the new space would house the city's justice court, which is now in leased commercial space in a shopping plaza several hundred yards away. The distance is great enough to isolate the city's woman judge and four female clerks from help if a problem should arise with a prisoner.
The court has no bailiff, and a police officer has to escort a clerk to City Hall each day to safeguard the fines collected for the day, Olson said.
The council approved the staff's request to solicit bids for the addition, but the proposal will then be called in for further council review before any work can be done.
West Jordan is considering the feasibility of contracting with the Salt Lake County sheriff's office for police services, which would change the city's court needs, Lambert said. Reviewing the proposal to add on to City Hall after bids are solicited will give officials a chance to size-up the city's needs once the proposal for contract police services has been explored further.
City officials were so set on constructing a new City Hall in 1980 that the entire council toured city halls in southern California collecting construction ideas, said Darrell Jones, the city's development services director.
A "temporary" addition was made to City Hall the following year, and the city's plans to move were actively considered until about two years ago.
The bulk of City Hall is currently in compliance with the city's building codes as long as the space is considered temporary, Jones said.