Under the Dome

For some state employees, the office is no relief from the cold

UPDATED: About 100 state government employees found little respite from the cold inside their office building.

Secretary of State Elaine Marshall reported that the temperature inside one of the Department of Revenue buildings on S. Salisbury Street sat at 44 degrees when employees arrived for work Tuesday morning.

The heating system broke Monday and state government maintenance workers didn’t come fix it when called, she said. It is likely an electrical problem in the aging building, Marshall said. “It’s just like renovating an old house, there are surprises everywhere,” she said.

The problem affected workers in the offices of the Secretary of State, Department of Labor and State Auditor, all of which share the space. Marshall noted that the employees are still working, though likely wearing coats and scarfs with heaters at their desk.

Marshall raised the problem at the Council of State meeting Tuesday morning. A Department of Administration official said it was fixed about 10 a.m., shortly after her complaint.

At the meeting, Gov. Pat McCrory used it as his latest example of how state government buildings are falling apart and in need of repair.

The Republican governor said his administration is four months into a review of state properties that is looking at cost and safety concerns. He joked that while some buildings are too cold, others are surely too hot, shaking his head at the inefficiencies.

“We can't keep the status quo of just putting Band-Aids because its causing inefficiency and actually costing the taxpayers more in the long run,” he told reporters.