- Associated Press - Friday, February 7, 2014

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) - Workers are packing up and moving out of West Lafayette’s City Hall, driven out by mold discovered during the cleanup of water damage caused by a ruptured water pipe.

Mayor John Dennis said testing done after the pipe froze and burst last month found bad air quality in the building’s basement and raised concerns about air quality on the two other floors.

“We had a company come in and tested the air, and it made it abundantly clear that air quality in the lower level of the basement is fairly bad,” Dennis told the Journal & Courier (https://on.jconline.com/1g1S0X5 ).

Workers on Thursday began moving the city clerk-treasurer’s office to the neighboring police station. Dennis said all other offices will soon be moved so that mold removal work can be done.

He suspects the entire building may have mold woes from condensation on metal-framed windows that often freeze, causing water to leak into the concrete walls.

Consultants for the remediation told city officials the moisture on the metal window frames likely drains into the walls.

“There is a suspicion that the mold issue is prolific throughout the entire building,” Dennis said.

The city’s insurance will only cover mold removal for the first two feet of the building. The cost of removing mold beyond that mark would have to be footed by taxpayers.

Dennis said if mold is widespread city officials will have to determine if it’s worth continuing to use the building or if the city should find another option. He said officials have been discussing for more than a year the idea of renovating a community center and moving the city’s offices there.

“That is probably our most viable option,” the mayor said.

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Information from: Journal and Courier, https://www.jconline.com


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