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St. Louis County jail roof needs $394,000 in repairs

St. Louis County jail
File photo
The St. Louis County Jail is located in the Buzz Westfall Justice Center in Clayton, Mo.

The St. Louis County Public Works department is asking the County Council for permission to use more than $394,000 in unspent funds to make emergency repairs to the roof of the county jail.

Public works spokesman David Wrone says a hailstorm last spring punched pin-sized holes in the membrane of the roof. Resulting water leaks damaged mechanical and electrical equipment, as well as left some day rooms and cells on the 8th floor unusable.

"The water didn't materialize until last fall," Wrone said. "It took that long for it basically to percolate through the insulation  and ceiling and boarding and that sort of thing."

He says inspectors looked at all county buildings following the storm.

"We weren't looking at a World War I landscape when we went up there," Wrong said. "It was just a very subtle, very tiny series of penetrations that we just weren’t able to identify until later."

Permanent repairs will start in the spring because they require warmer weather, but Wrone says temporary patching has stopped the leaks for now. Though some jail cells are off-line, Wrone says the jail's population is low enough that space isn't a problem.

Photo above courtesy Nate Birt of Clayton-Richmond Heights Patch

Rachel is the justice correspondent at St. Louis Public Radio.