There's a lesson to be learned — an expensive one — in the growing bill to renovate two downtown Lima buildings. Unfortunately, those in city government continue ignoring that lesson, and it continues to cost taxpayers.The cost of rehabilitating the former train depot and Cambridge Hotel has gone up another $896,000, members of Lima City Council's Utilities Committee learned this week. The city paid $2.2 million in 2009 for the buildings, and since then inspections have revealed problems that need to be fixed. It gets worse: The engineering firm that oversaw the original but apparently inadequate work, LJB Inc., is being retained for the new fixes.Lima taxpayers long ago learned the lesson, and they've been loath to trust government with more money or with new projects. With a few exceptions, city councilors and administrators haven't been so quick.The Utility Committee on Tuesday reviewed the $896,000-plus bill for repairs needed on the former train depot and Cambridge Hotel. Renovations have already been done, but ensuing inspections have uncovered a variety of problems, many stemming from the original remodel.Amid controversy, city officials decided in 2001 to save the former depot, built in 1887, and the former hotel, built in 1882. It partnered with Downtown Lima, which bought the buildings and accessed $800,000 in Ohio historical tax credits with the understanding the city would buy the buildings. The city did in 2009, financing the $2.2 million purchase.But even then, problems were evident, including issues with drainage, mold, internal supports and the heating system. We warned then that these buildings would become an endless money pit. City councilors, hoping for the best but showing little fiscal oversight or common sense, went ahead anyway. The city since has paid LJB Inc. $42,300 for engineering. Now it will take another $896,500 to do the work needed. Lima Utilities Director Gary Sheely told The Lima News that the city knew there would be some costs, but the number was surprising even to administrators. Sheely also said the city continues to have confidence in LJB. That would be the same LJB that, along with the city, was supposed to have a full-time person on-site conducting inspections — and neither LJB nor the city did that. So taxpayers get to shell out more money for the administration's restoration project. This comes at a time when Mayor David Berger is actively campaigning against losing any more state funding because of the city's precarious financial situation.Residents should wonder who's been minding the ship. Second Ward Councilman Sam McLean pointed out that he didn't vote for the original work, but such financial oversight has been a rarity among members of City Council.“I personally did not vote for the purchase of the Cambridge Building or the Train Depot because I knew there were issues with it even then. Since then, we've paid for two studies and we've found more troubles. I have real problems trying to figure out how we didn't get the work right the first time,” McLean said Tuesday.One has to wonder at what point does the city just say it's time to cut the losses, to stop throwing more good money after the bad it's already wasted.