'Nightmare' building costs you $700K a year - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

'Nightmare' building costs you $700K a year

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"Putrid and foul" is how some Harris County workers would describe the smell in an aging 13-floor structure.

Several employees have emailed me, complaining about the smell of dead rodents.  In the past, workers have sent photos of the rats they caught, the snake they discovered, or the roaches that ran amok.

The old Harris County jail opened in 1980 and was closed in 2002.  State jail officials said it was not safe for inmates.

Now, it houses around 200 county employees, some from the sheriff's office and others from the district clerk's office.  

Harris County District Clerk Chris Daniel is trying to get his workers out.

"We had a plan at the end of the year, but it was pushed back and as soon as we are able to get the plans finalized, we will have our employees moved out of here as soon as possible," Daniel said.

That leaves about 140+ employees from the sheriff's office in a building described as "uninhabitable" by some.

Harris County Facilities and Property Management's Jim Lamond talked to me, but only after County Commissioner Steve Raddack stepped in.

Lamond said they found nothing during a Monday inspection.

Try telling that to the employees who emailed me.  They said the building is a nightmare, costing taxpayers $700,000 a year to maintain.

Daniel said he sees the problem.  That's why he is pushing to get his people out.

"There are issues and they are being addressed by commissioner's court and the budget director of Harris County," he said.

Sheriff Adrian Garcia issued this statement:

"Interaction to critical services of the Harris County Sheriff's Office.  These men and women continue to do an incredible job in spite of challenging working conditions.  I look forward to the day that gives them a facility that exemplifies their responsibility, professionalism, and dedication."

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