(10/12/12) - It's been exactly two years since City Hall in Bay City went up in flames.
The fire started on the fourth floor while construction crews were working on the roof. There was a tremendous amount of water damage in the building, forcing city operations to move elsewhere.
At the once busy corner of Washington and 10th - Bay City City Hall still stands empty.
No one imagined repairs would take this long, but city officials say they want the work done right.
"It's kinda surreal. We hoped to be back in here soon, we all miss our offices and we went actually miss being with each other," said Dana Muscott, Bay City city clerk.
Muscott's view is much different than the one she had two years ago. She stood outside with fellow employees watching firefighters battle flames on the fourth floor of city hall, in 2010. Smoke and water damage forced city operations out, and closed the historic building since that day.
"We are in four different locations throughout the city. This is home, this is where we should be having our city commission meetings and the public should be able to visit this building since it's such a beautiful and historic building," she said.
After several redesigns, crews have finally begun repairs. Muscott says it's taken longer than expected, but they want it done right.
"We don't want to rush through the project and have things thrown back into this building. We have the H-Vac system installed, so we have heat this winter while they put the plaster back up, the electrical is the largest portion of the construction, we have huge walls to go through, four floors to wire," Muscott said.
"When I came in, I noticed some progress where they are putting walls back up and being framed," said Larry Elliott, City Commission president.
Elliott still hasn't conducted a meeting inside council chambers.
"It's frustrating to not be in here, and have to meet some place else. This is where we should be. It's a slow process, a little slower than what we would like, but with the size of the building and amount of damage from the water, how much brick is in here that has be dried out before you can do anything, so hopefully soon," he said.
When City Hall reopens, the treasurer's office will be in a new, more accessible location on the first floor.
Officials hope to be moved back in by spring.
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