As cities work to balance their budgets, the last things they want are surprise repair costs -- especially for buildings intended to last a lifetime.
When signs of age creep into relatively new buildings, cities often have few options. Ohio's statute of limitations on construction contracts is 15 years from the date of signing. And suing a contractor might not succeed.
"You've got to be able to go back and prove some negligence, either in materials or with a contractor," said Grove City Safety Director Mike Wasylik, who has overseen repairs at the city's police station.
Otherwise, "you're just throwing good money after bad," said Mike Minister, law director in Worthington, where several newer buildings need repairs.