Section of Ocoee City Hall sinking

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OCOEE, Fla. - Part of Ocoee's city hall is sinking, which has city leaders scrambling to act quickly.

The problems stem from when the building was first built in the late '90s along Lake Shore Drive.

Channel 9's Deneige Broom found it's going to cost $35,000 for a short-term fix alone.

While park of the building is sinking, Public Works Director Steve Krug said "everything is structurally sound. We just want to make sure it stays that way."

Krug recently explained to city commissioners how City Hall and its porch have been settling gradually for years.

"Like the Leaning Tower of Pisa, they probably thought they built that on solid ground," said Krug. "Before it started settling, it's all about starting down deep enough."

Krug said when the building was constructed less than 20 years ago the ground underneath wasn't prepared properly.

Since the late '90s, the ground has settled under the building's weight, causing cracks in columns and a large gap.

And one of the worst spots is right under the mayor's office.

"We've ignored it and I've tried to call attention to it for years to do something with it," said Ocoee Mayor Scott Vandergrift.

The commission decided to spend $35,000 to fix the columns to help stabilize the porch and building, but that will only help for about five years.

To stabilize the building beyond that, it could cost up to $1 million.

"We're just going to have to gulp down the cost," said Vandergrift.

Leaders said the settling has been a problem for years but it's really gotten more noticeable within the last few years.