Environmental Director recommends relocating Hastings City Hall workers

Hastings City Hall employees may have to relocate, after mold and asbestos found in study.
Published: Mar. 13, 2023 at 11:38 AM CDT|Updated: Mar. 13, 2023 at 9:45 PM CDT
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HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - In a report to be delivered to the city council Monday night, Environmental Director Marty Stange says Hastings City Hall employees have been exposed to unsafe conditions for too long. He recommends that they be relocated.

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

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

In his report, Stange wrote in part, “Based upon the recent mold assessment, it is my recommendation that our employees have been exposed to unsafe conditions far too long.” In his report, Stange acknowledges that a solution to the mold problem may take some time, but that while the council is considering its options, “...it is my recommendation that city hall employees be relocated to a different location until a decision is fully implemented.” Stange went on the write, “As the Environmental Director, I would not want to have my staff in this building until the conditions at City Hall are abated and proper management controls are in place.”

In the documents that are going before the council Monday night, City Administrator Shawn Metcalf wrote in part, that he “...will diligently look into options to relocate City Hall employees to a different location. The health and safety of people visiting and working at City Hall is of the highest priority.”