Skunk pays visit

Published 10:38 am Friday, August 5, 2016

By Summer Jenkins

Special to The Charlotte Gazette

Early Friday morning, the ladies of the Charlotte County Treasurer’s Office discovered an unpleasant surprise.

During routine maintenance on the building’s basement furnace, an uninvited guest — a skunk — slipped through the open door and left an unpleasant smell behind.

Unfortunately for the Commissioner of the Revenue, the office shares a wall with the treasurer’s office. Office workers on both sides spent Friday avoiding the smell.

A thorough search of the basement by the maintenance staff revealed no signs of the pest remaining there. How exactly the skunk managed to enter the basement no one is completely sure of at the moment. The basement door remained open for a time during a filter replacement on the furnace, but no one saw the animal go in or leave. Both offices, however, are quite sure the creature moved on and are happy it’s leaving kept the cost of cleaning the building low and easily done.

Thankfully, the basement does not contain vital records so no irreplaceable damages were incurred; the office crews were able to air out the building, light a few well-placed candles and all hope the smell will soon fade. Charlotte County Treasurer Patricia Berkeley said she, at first, thought  the air conditioning in the building failed. She returned after a morning function to discover the doors of the two buildings open. Once she stepped inside the smell left behind astonished her.

“Of all the things to happen to come in here. It’s just so unusual in a town setting,” said Berkeley as she carried on the day as normal. “The last thing I thought of is a skunk.”

Don’t worry about the treasurer’s unwanted guest. As unwanted guests are prone to do, the creature has grown disinterested and moved on.

The commissioner’s office had little to say about it besides a profound relief the weekend would provide much-needed time for the smell to dissipate.

Business in both offices continues on as normal so don’t be afraid. The smell is already becoming an unpleasant memory.