Privacy and mobility have not been at a premium at the public works building, but that’s going to change, says director Mark Wellner. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)
By DUSTIN RACIOPPI
There isn’t much to Rumson’s Department of Public Works building a narrow, bland concrete stretch of garage bays with a couple of offices behind borough hall.
One of those offices belongs to director Mark Wellner, where warmth is generated by a space heater next to his desk. When he steps out, he’s in the department’s conference room, which also happens to be the kitchen consisting of a microwave and small counter and, during snow emergencies, a bedroom for a dozen or so on-call employees who try to catch z’s on one of a few used couches picked up curbside over the years.
“Sometimes, you’ve got a guy laying on the table with a blanket trying to get some sleep,” he said.
Attached to the conference room is a closet of a bathroom, with one toilet and a sink behind a rickety door.
“No room for the guys to even wash their hands,” Wellner said.
There’s not much in the way of comfort and privacy for the DPW guys, that’s for sure. So it must’ve been frustrating to watch last year when the borough built its pristine, $5.77 million government offices building right in front of the public works structure that went untouched in the 56 years since it was built.