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James Neiss/staff photographer

Crews deal with a water line break at city hall on Thursday.

A Wednesday morning water main break resulted in the evacuation of city hall and the building remained closed on Thursday. Mayor Michelle Roman said that in order for the building be reopened, more water and sewer service — specifically functioning bathrooms — must be available.

“You can’t have people working where they don’t have access to water,” Roman said.

The building is set to reopen on Monday, she added. 

The first clue to a problem on Wednesday was water leaking in the basement. Roman also noted that water was found at the bottom of the elevator shaft, prompting the move to halt any use of the elevator. To supply water for those working in the building, an emergency line was run from a hydrant on Niagara Street.

“Fire and police were able to continue their services inside of the building. We were able to get some city workers in, who needed to be here to finish some department work,” Roman said.

The unexpected shutdown also resulted in the Common Council’s work session being postponed until next Wednesday. Roman said people shouldn’t be surprised if the next session is longer than usual before the council’s formal business meeting convenes.

The emergency closing of city hall feels a bit like being back in Covid lockdown, Roman said, but the city’s work is still being done.

“There will be somebody in the office that can respond to calls. It’ll just be like before when we closed. People can call up or they can email. They can do it like they had been prior to the reopening,” she said.

Drop boxes are still available and the police department window on Niagara Street is accessible as well.

“I’m just glad at the quick action of our city workers,” Roman said.

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