The closure of Wellington's central library feeds into a growing narrative that the capital's public infrastructure is no longer meeting the needs of the city.
It's a story that has only got progressively worse for Wellington City Council.
When the library shut its doors in March last year the woeful state of pipes below the ground was yet to be realised.
Today, city councillors agreed on a solution to fix the library more than 18 months after it first became an issue.
They have agreed to strengthen the building at a cost of up to $179m, which is arguably the most important decision they'll make this year.
But close to a year was wasted in reaching this point.
There's a feeling the council went into a state of paralysis when the building closed, in part because of the magnitude of the decision.
Chief executive Kevin Lavery was left by Mayor Justin Lester to front media, who were seated around one of the tables in the now shut Municipal Office Building.
But Lavery was finishing up as the council boss that year and there was uncertainty around who would be taking over.
Local body elections that October didn't help move things along either because the library became something to campaign on, rather than something to make decisions on.
The election result also brought about the dramatic ousting of Justin Lester, meaning new mayor Andy Foster needed time to bed-in.
By the time 2020 rolled around, it was then only another year away until the Long Term Plan was up for review again.
But more than one councillor around the table had strong feelings that more imminent action was required.
Basically a deal was struck where a significant amount of operational funding was spent on getting the project ready for spades to hit the ground when the capital expenditure was signed off in 2021.
The regeneration of Civic Square had previously been considered as a master plan, but it was decided that a building described as the city's living room couldn't wait for that.
The wait would likely have been a long one, considering that in August this year the council was still battling with its insurers over the fate of the Civic Administration Building.
So the library was framed as a sort of anchor building in Civic Square, like the Town Hall and the City Gallery.
The one thing the council did move quickly on was the pop-up library branches around the city to ensure a service continued.
Experienced councillor Iona Pannett once joked at a press conference that she had never seen something done so quickly in Local Government.
But for new councillors, and there are a few of them, the pace of Local Government was difficult to grapple with.
It's safe to say their perception of time has dramatically changed after one year in the job.
It's a big call to spend almost $180m on strengthening a building so it can exist with a bunch of closed buildings in the graveyard that is Civic Square.
The reality is people care about the library and they care a whole lot less where the council has its offices.
Although, ratepayers would have certainly taken notice of the more than $3.6m Wellington City Council is spending on rent for every year it's unable to return to its offices in Civic Square.
There is some appetite around the council table for retail space in the ground floors of these civic buildings to help pay for expensive strengthening costs.
But the idea the library could be sold to a developer and leased was explicitly ruled out.
Just the thought of privatising the library turned some councillors green.
By the time flesh was put on the bones for options to fix the library, there was a clear choice.
To earthquake strengthen, or to build new?
Wellington has a history of dragging architecture through the courts and the legal risk that came with the library's fate was real, not to mention it's a building that Sir Ian Athfield designed.
The issue of heritage tends to bring out Wellington's loudest voices.
So the fruits of consultation caught some councillors by surprise, because more respondents actually weren't bothered about saving the library.
They just wanted a new and resilient building that wasn't going to cost the earth.
Some councillors felt like the consultation on the library was a bit over the top, but others weren't convinced the council's standard consultation went far enough.
Wellington City Council also conducted a representative survey to ensure everyone's voices were being captured, not just those who proactively put pen to paper in a submission.
The result of the survey ended up being more or less the same as the consultation, which was a close split between a new build and the high resilience strengthening option.
The original cost of that strengthening was an eye watering $200m and was more expensive than building new.
But the library project was run differently to other ones the council has previously handled.
A group of experts were instructed to continue with detailed design work in parallel with the council's processes.
It meant that by the time consultation had finished, the costs of each option had been revised further.
It turned out the high resilience strengthening option was going to cost less, up to $179m, and a new build was expected to cost more, up to 183m.
It meant saving a building was no longer going to cost tens of millions of dollars more, but rather it would cost about the same as building new.
They're not the costs the public was consulted on, but councillors felt confident they could go ahead and vote on a decision because cost was a key factor in people favouring a new build.
The bigger question around costs is whether the estimates councillors had in front of them today can be relied on.
You don't have to look too far across Civic Square to see what an earthquake strengthening budget blowout look like. The Town Hall is the perfect example of this.
But the group of experts working on the detailed library design has got the likes of architects, engineers, and construction consultants in the same room at the same time.
Councillors close to the project feel all the homework that can possibly be done has been done.
They know the one thing that will drive up prices for certain is taking any longer to get spades in the ground.