SCRANTON -- Scranton is known for its architecture but lately, a group of city-owned buildings hasn't been a point of pride. Many of Scranton's firehouses are in disrepair but now the mayor has borrowed money with a plan to fix them up.
Many of city's eight firehouses were built back in the 1950s and 1960s. None of them has had any major improvements for 25 years.
The city has budgeted $1.7 million to fix them all up next spring, but some emergency work has to happen before winter.
Scranton's fire headquarters on Mulberry Street was built in 1905. It's the oldest of eight city firehouses and it is in the best shape.
"This isn't just a workplace, this is where we live, and the memberships have dealt with, from leaky roofs to electrical problems, to plumbing problems, to structural problems that we've been talking about for years now," said Scranton firefighter Jack Gaffney.
City officials recently paid an architect to assess the problems with the city's firehouses. The assessment is hundreds of pages long, detailing problems with all eight of the firehouses.
Scranton's business administrator Dave Bulzoni says the city tacked the $1.7 million price tag for repairs onto a larger loan the city took out this year to settle the parking authority's debt.
"I think, actually, the firemen have taken a good degree of pride in trying to keep up the firehouses. They also need help to do so," Bulzoni said.
Most of the repairs will take place in the spring but there's some emergency work needed before winter hits.
Engine 8 in North Scranton and Engine 10 on East Mountain both have holes in their roofs. There's a tarp covering Engine 10.
"Those guys, when you walk into that firehouse, they have this dinky little room that they can sit. They don't complain. But we happened to have been in there, we took up some coffee once and that sort of stuff. God help them, I mean, they make it work," said city resident Karen Spangler.
"It's definitely dilapidated," said resident Colleen Gallagher. "The roof is leaking, it needs a lot of work. I think it's great that they're going to put some money into it."
City officials say most of the work will take place inside the firehouses but there will be some exterior work too, to help make them look a little nicer on the outside.