GIRARD Finances pose obstacle to removal of mold
Officials say a leak in the roof contributed to the mold.
By TIM YOVICH
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
GIRARD -- Mayor James J. Melfi says it will cost about $15,000 to remove mold that has been discovered in some city hall offices.
When the work will be done, the mayor said, is up in the air because of the city's financial woes.
The problem with mold is contained in a Dec. 9, 2002, report completed by Sylcom Safety Specialists of Youngstown and Columbus.
James Dobson, city health commissioner, explained that no toxic mold was found.
"It's not that bad," Dobson said, noting that the state recommends eliminating moisture that allows the spores to grow, removing mold with soap and water and drying the area.
Melfi said Sylcom was hired a year ago after an employee in the auditor's office complained about mold on the wall in fall 2002.
He noted that an employee in the tax office also complained.
It was found after some wallpaper was peeled off. The auditor's employee was moved to another office.
Source of moisture
The moisture, Melfi and Dobson explained, was caused by a leaky roof that was repaired this spring.
"We took immediate action," the mayor said.
Offices tested by Sylcom were occupied by the auditor, law director, engineer, mayor and tax collection and water department on the first floor, and council chambers and an additional law director's office on the second floor.
Dobson said the spore counts are much higher outside than in the offices tested.
An outside sample showed a spore count of 3,054; the highest reading was 1,076 in the upstairs law director's office, which isn't used. The lowest was 142 in the water department.
Dobson said ventilation filters reduce the spore count inside the building. When windows are open, the count is higher inside.
The mold may cause a respiratory problem for some employees and not affect others, depending on the individual, the health commissioner said.
For example, Dobson, whose office is on the first floor between the auditor's and engineer's offices, hasn't experienced any health problems.
He pointed out that he's in and out of the offices that were tested.
The report said the exact public-health significance caused by the fungal densities and types found requires a medical evaluation by a health professional familiar with state building codes.
Dobson said the building needs a good cleaning, but there is only one custodian in city hall, who also drives the senior citizen bus.
Some employees complain the carpets have never been cleaned and dust hasn't been removed from shelving and other surfaces.