Environmental Director Recommends Relocation of Hastings City Hall Workers

HASTINGS, Nebraska. (Nebraska) — In a report due to City Council on Monday evening, environmental director Marty Stange says Hastings City Hall employees have been in unsafe conditions for too long. He recommends that they be relocated.

Stange cited mold testing done last month by a consultant. Air samples were taken from two rooms on the second floor of City Hall and showed that the concentration of all types of mold was 4600 spores per cubic meter of air. The consultant’s report states that the National Bureau of Allergy considers mold numbers between 2,500 and 25,000 to be in the “high” category. The bureau says mold levels in the high category cause people with any sensitivity to experience symptoms.

Testing showed high levels of one particular type of mold, Cladosporium, at 3,800 spores per cubic meter. The consultant’s report indicated that Cladosporium is highly allergenic and spreads quickly and easily during the warm months of spring and early summer. When the spores are airborne, they can easily affect people with asthma and other respiratory conditions, causing wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath.

In his report, Stange wrote in part, “Based on a recent mold assessment, I recommend that our employees be exposed to unsafe conditions for too long.” In his report, Stange acknowledges that it may take some time to resolve the mold problem, but while the council considers its options, “…I recommend moving city hall staff to another location until a decision is made.” fully implemented.” Stange went on to record: “As director of environmental protection, I would not want my staff to be in this building until conditions at City Hall are relaxed and proper managerial controls are put in place.”

In documents to be presented to the council Monday night, city administrator Sean Metcalfe wrote in part that he “…will thoroughly explore options for relocating City Hall employees. The health and safety of people visiting and working at City Hall is of the highest priority.”

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