Water leak damages Columbus City Hall
Leaking water from a failed water fountain on the second floor caused extensive damage to the Columbus City Hall on Saturday, July 11.
Town Clerk Ron Barndt said the leak was discovered around 6:30 p.m. by Columbus Police Officer Jacob Ward as he deposited a traffic ticket in a wall slot next to the administrative offices.
“He noticed water coming down through a bulging ceiling tile,” Barndt said Monday morning.
Barndt said he arrived at City Hall about 7 p.m. to find water puddling on the first floor and running out the door onto the sidewalk. A plumber was able to isolate the leak, and water was eventually restored to the building.
“Servpro of Billings brought in a big truck and sucked up I don’t know how many gallons of water,” Barndt said.
About a dozen noisy floor fans were operating on the City Hall’s basement, first and second floors on Monday morning, along with dehumidifiers.
Barndt said ceiling tiles and sheetrock were damaged and carpets were wet on all three floors, but no paper records or computers were damaged.
“We lost a video camera, that’s all I know so far,” he said. “It’s a good thing we don’t have a town council meeting tonight – about a third of the council chambers is damaged.”
The town is waiting to hear from an adjuster from its insurance provider, the Montana Municipal Interlocal Authority. Barndt said the town might have to pay a $750 to $1,000 deductible.
Construction of the present City Hall building began in 1999, and staff moved in right after Christmas 2000, Barndt said.