Inyo County's public buildings have started to fall apart and Boards of Supervisors have let $2.5 million in maintenance stack up. This news was revealed before budget hearings last week. Supervisors were expected to approve only $50,000 for maintenance.

When asked what this means in reality, Inyo Public Works Director Ron Chegwidden said that it means "a whole hodge-podge of things in every building. The longer we wait," he said, "the more expensive it gets."

The critical items include new roofing for the County Services Building in Bishop, the old Big Pine Library building, Independence Legion Hall, Bishop Senior Center, and the main Courthouse plus its annex.

Most of the same facilities need upgrades under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Then there are nuts and bolts types of repairs and maintenance like painting, flooring, electrical and plumbing improvements, lighting and windows.

As Chegwidden and others have pointed out, the whole thing comes down to a decision. Does the County spend money on maintenance of facilities or other services?

So far, the buildings get the short end of the deal.

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