Burst Pipe At County Building Damages Assessor’s Office

CHICAGO (CBS) — A burst water pipe at the Cook County building in the Loop caused extensive damage to the assessor’s office on Saturday.

The pipe broke due to extreme temperatures, and caused water damage to the north end of the Cook County assessor’s third floor offices, rendering the space unusable, assessor’s spokesman Tom Shaer said.

Five departments—divisions, exempt properties, freedom of information, incentives and legal—were relocated to other spaces on the south end of the third floor and on the ninth floor, he said.

Shaer said taxpayer services by those departments was not completely shut down, but primary efforts have been focused on relocation, organization and resumption of full customer service.

Documents in bottom drawers of file cabinets and some storage boxes were soaked, he said. The drying of paper documents was started immediately, but the documents contained only public-record information and publicly-accessible material.

Some documents from the Incentives Department may not be recoverable, Shaer said, but are replaceable because copies exist in other files.

Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas said her second-floor office, directly below the assessor’s space, received a large amount of water from the burst pipe, but it was quickly contained with only minimal damage.

The office’s carpeting was removed to prevent mold, and staff will work on the underlying concrete until it gets replaced, she said. Some papers were also soaked and then dried, but most files have already been copied digitally, she said.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2016. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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