The old Sandy City Hall

Nostalgic Rumblings

Sometime after Sandy incorporated and became a city in 1913, the City Council needed a city hall where its business could be conducted. They purchased a building lot fronting on Shelley Street and constructed a wood-framed building that couldn't have been more than 1,000 square feet. The inside finish was common shiplap applied horizontally. Most of the space was the council chamber, room for a table to accommodate the mayor and six people with a single bench on each side for any visitors present.

There was a small cubby-hole for the city recorder, and in back was a single jail cell, a rest room and a space for the 'water man,' who was the 'water department,' to keep his shovels and wrenches. The only policeman was the chief, who as responsible for keeping law and order 24 hours a day, seven days a week. He could 'hang out' at City Hall.

By the 1950s, and with all the pent-up activity after 10 years of the Depression and four years of a major war, Sandy was growing, and the building was obviously becoming inadequate. An architect was engaged to come up with a larger building as requested by the council. We don't remember the size, but the estimated cost was $20,000. It was a lot of money, but the larger building was badly needed.

But when the bids came in, the council was in shock. The lowest bid was $24,000!

Older and wiser heads on the council shook their heads. It was just too much overrun, so plans were abandoned.

But times changed, people became more used to inflation, and later, a new city hall was built (dedicated in 1969) for a price of about $180,000 (also a cost overrun), which people agreed was a lot of money, but it was a fine building. Today, that price looks like a steal.

How times do change!

Phil Jonsrud is a local historian and member of the Sandy Historical Society.