Things are starting to dry up at the Illinois Department of Revenue office in Springfield and it has nothing to do with the budget impasse.

Some call it “the river,” others call it “the pond,” but every year during warmer months the basin inside Springfield’s Willard Ice Building gets drained.

Joe Romang, program manager for administrative services, has worked there since 1988. He said the basin is drained because the moisture levels can be difficult to manage in the more-than 30-year-old building.

“Shortly after the building was constructed there were issues with the humidity system that they had and they had to disable it,” Romang said.

Draining the water in the summer ensures printing operations don’t get too moist.

“Sometimes it affects the paper swelling and running through our copiers and printers,” Romang said. 

The humidity levels also affect the air quality.

“We’ve had some employee complaints in the past as well about their sinuses, their allergies, and they have asked us through the union if we could shut it off during the summer,” Romang said. 

Romang said they drain the basin when it gets hot outside. That’s when the air is naturally humid. During the winter months, Romang said they refill the fountain\ to add humidity to the air.

The Willard Ice Building was commissioned in 1984.


(Copyright WBGZ Radio /