Fuel tank puncture shuts down city hall

Mar. 06, 2014 @ 05:03 AM

The Sanford Municipal Center was forced to close early Wednesday after a contractor reportedly pierced city hall’s fuel tank for its emergency generator, contaminating the center’s air and water lines.

The center, located at 225 E. Weatherspoon St., is expected to open later this afternoon or Friday, said Sanford City Manager Hal Hegwer.

Sanford Fire Department Division Commander and Fire Marshal Ken Cotten said authorities are unsure how much diesel fuel was spilled during the incident, but the tank holds 3,000 gallons. The nearby creeks were not contaminated, he said, and there were no injuries.

Hegwer said the city’s 911 center and the police department would remain open despite not having water or heating and air. Cotten said the police department’s mobile unit was called in to help.

A contractor was digging underground near the center for the backup 911 Emergency System lines when the tank was hit shortly after 2 p.m., Cotten said.

The incident occurred on city property and should not impact water use by city residents, Hegwer said.

“We are trying to find out what [other] damage might be done to any other lines,” he said Wednesday. “We don’t have water and sewer, so you can’t use the restrooms or drink the water here. We can’t be open if people can’t use those facilities.”