Black mold issues in city hall may force some departments off site
Report from assistant city manager looks at how the shuffle might look
Black mold in city hall could force some city departments to temporarily move operations out of city hall according to a preliminary report to city council.
The report, authored by Todd Wegner, the assistant city manager, was included in the city council agenda for discussion Tuesday night.
City administration is recommending that the city's Dept. of Economic Development move its operations to leased space in the Day Building, where the National Weather Service was located. Access to that portion of the building is from the direction of the old Three Bears parking lot.
Last July, the city's fire chief reported that black mold had been found inside the walls of the old portion of city hall that houses the fire department and the city's IT department.
Employees working in the old section of city hall were reporting breathing issues during work hours and the chief said he considered it imperative that the issue be addressed immediately as a health and safety issue.
Wegner recommends "interim measures" to address the air quality issues at the fire station.
As another temporary measure, Wegner is recommending the city lease the office space in the Day Building at a cost of $35,520 per year - $2,960 monthly.
This would allow other city offices to shuffle inside city hall while a more permanent solution to the mold problem is addressed.
The city is considering the demolition of the south wing of city hall and the downtown fire department.
When the issue was discussed with council last July, administrators said they believed that new construction would most likely be less expensive than bringing the old section of city hall up to current building codes and standards.
At the time, the now-retired chief said he hoped that the city council would consider building a new fire station rather than remodeling and remediating the old one.
No actual decisions or budget has been set for any of the options that are currently on the table.