ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – The St. Louis County government is grappling with a $40 million budget hole as another huge problem hangs over their heads.

The county government is facing a deadline from the City of Clayton to either install a fire suppression system in the Lawrence K. Roos County Government Building or move out of the property.

Now the county has hired a consultant for $950,000 to help them figure out the best option.

A report in the Post-Dispatch a year ago, based on county records, said the addition of the sprinkler system could cost about $50 million.

“We’re looking at perhaps additional spending on building we have to get out of that building or make some major renovation in the county executive building,” said Councilwoman Rita Days, chair for St. Louis County Council. “We are not in compliance, we don’t have a sprinkler system, and Clayton has told us that, you know, we have to make some changes. The option would be either retrofitting our building as we have it now. Or a new building that would have everything that we need in order to be compliant with the City of Clayton.”

“At the end of 2015, the City of Clayton adopted the international fire code, and within the international fire code,” said David Gipson, a city manager for the City of Clayton. “There’s a requirement that all high-rise buildings have to have fire suppression within 12 years of adoption, so that puts it at the end of 2027 as a hard deadline for everybody to have suppression. The county administration building as it exists today does not meet that requirement, so given they had 12 years, 7 years ago, they have 5 years left to comply with those requirements.”

The deadline for the fix is January 1, 2028.