ABILENE, Texas - The south side foundation of the Law Enforcement Center seems to be shifting and is causing some major issues inside and outside the building.
The shift is causing cracks in walls and ceiling tiles to buckle and even creating gaps between the floor and the wall.
Sheriff Ricky Bishop said the county has attempted to deal with the problems.
"We have made temporary fixes by shaving off the top of the doors so they'll be able to close – especially on the priority doors," Bishop said.
Bishop said some office doors barely close or don't close at all. Bricks on the outside of the building are also loose and there are flooding issues in the basement used by the police department.
Baseboards have been lowered and fixed to compensate for the gaps between the walls and the floor. Bishop said it's slowly been getting worse, but officials first started noticing the issues last summer after dry spells hit the Big Country.
"Some of the secretaries on the west end of the building started hollering one day because there was a loud pop," Bishop said. "They thought a gun had gone off when it was actually the building itself that was making the noise."
The lack of rain might be to blame for causing all of the issues.
"I've been told that's part of our problem, the drought," said Bishop, "The water table is dropping, so the building is taking place of that water and is slowly sinking is the way it's been described to me."
Although there are no future plans to move the sheriff's department to a different building, Bishop said it's a future goal for the department to get a bigger office somewhere.
Taylor County Commissioners decided Tuesday to bring in a professional to look at the issues with the building. They will pay an engineering company about $40,000 to assess the issues.
The costs will be split in half between the city and the county. The company will recommend what they think should be fixed and give a bid on what should be allotted financially for repairs.
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