Environment Director recommends relocation of Hastings Town Hall workers

HASTINGS, Neb. (Nebraska) — In a report to be delivered to City Council Monday evening, Environmental Director Marty Stange says Hastings City Hall employees have been exposed to unsafe conditions for too long. He recommends that they be transferred.

Stange cited mold tests performed by a consultant last month. Air samples were taken from two rooms on the second floor of City Hall and indicated that the concentration of all types of molds was 4,600 spores per cubic meter of air. The consultant’s report says the National Allergy Bureau considers mold counts to be between 2,500 and 25,000 in the “high” category. The office says mold levels in the high category will lead to individuals with any sensitivity experiencing symptoms.

Tests showed high levels of a particular type of mould, Cladosporium, present at 3,800 spores per cubic metre. The consultant’s report indicated that Cladosporium is highly allergenic and spreads quickly and easily, starting in the warmer months of spring and into early summer. When the spores become airborne, they can easily affect people with asthma and other respiratory illnesses, contributing to wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath.

In his report, Stange wrote in part, “Based on the recent mold assessment, it is my recommendation that our employees have been exposed to unsafe conditions for too long.” In his report, Stange acknowledges that a resolution to the mold problem could take some time, but that while the council is weighing its options, “…it is my recommendation that City Hall employees be relocated to a different location until a decision will not be made and fully implemented.” Stange continued to write, “As Environmental Director, I would not like to have my staff in this building until the condition of the Town Hall has improved and proper management controls are in place. “.

In documents to be presented to the council on Monday evening, City Manager Shawn Metcalf wrote in part that he “…will diligently review options for relocating City Hall employees to a different location. The health and safety of the people who visit and work at City Hall are of the utmost priority.”

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