Inspector turns the tables, writes up Md. State Police

At issue: invalid certificate on boiler at old barracks

July 05, 1999|By Mike Farabaugh | Mike Farabaugh,SUN STAFF

The state police in Westminster are in hot water with state building inspectors but will soon bury the evidence.

The boiler in the soon-to-be-demolished barracks, which is turned on in the fall and off in the spring, has an expired certificate, according to a sharp-eyed state inspector who recently arrived to check on the boiler in the soon-to-be-completed new barracks.

The expiration problem surfaced, said 1st Sgt. Dean Richardson, after the state inspector had approved the installation of the new boiler.

"He told me that he was required while inspecting a boiler to check on any other on-site boiler," Richardson said.

Dutifully, Richardson showed the inspector to the basement of the old barracks.

"He looked at the boiler and asked, `Where's the certificate?' "

Richardson had no clue, but after dusting off some pipes, they located the old boiler's certificate.

"He turns and says, `This certificate expired a month ago,' " Richardson said.

The sergeant said the old boiler no longer is used and never will be.

"As soon as we move into the new barracks [tentatively set for July 19], this old boiler is going to be buried under tons of bricks when the building comes down," he said.

It didn't matter, though.

"He says, `I'm going to have to confiscate your expired certificate,' " Richardson said.

The first sergeant asked the inspector to come back in a month and decide whether he really wanted to take that step, but the inspector removed the expired one anyway and attached it to his clipboard.

"I'm going to have to report this," the inspector told Richardson.

Lt. Terry Katz, barracks commander, laughed when he heard the story, and he recounted his own boiler tale.

Last month, Katz planned to help clean up a local cemetery and then grab a shower at the barracks before presenting a plaque, on behalf of state police, at a function.

"When I told Dean [Richardson] I'd have to leave early to get a quick shower, he just laughed.

"There is no hot water at the barracks," Richardson told Katz. "The boiler's turned off from spring until fall."

Katz said he had been unaware of the situation and had to rush home for his shower that day.

"At least we'll have hot water year around in the new building" he said.

And a valid certificate.

Richardson, who did not offer the inspector's name, said he expected superiors in the Building and Maintenance Division at state police headquarters in Pikesville would handle the matter of the expired certificate when it reached their desks.

Richardson tried, but he couldn't persuade the inspector to let it slide.

Pub Date: 7/05/99

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