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Chiefland city officials are still trying to determine the extent of a mold problem at City Hall, and the city’s insurance company is saying it might not want to foot the bill to fix the problem.
City Manager Grady Hartzog told commissioners at Monday night’s regular meeting he was still waiting for a report on the mold, which was first noticed growing under the carpet in Hartzog’s office.
The mold has also been spotted in a small room next to his office, a break room, a bathroom and in the air ducts, Hartzog said, though the problem, as well as what it might cost to fix, is still being evaluated.
“It’s really hard for me to explain until I get a report …” Hartzog said, later explaining that he was informed that an old sprinkler system, since removed, may have caused the problem, allowing water to infiltrate the exterior walls of City Hall.
He said the exterior of the building may need to be sealed and painted with small weep holes drilled to allow for air flow within the interior spaces of the walls to fix the problem.
Hartzog said that so far no one has gotten sick from the mold, a scenario played out at the Chiefland Police Department several years ago when black mold was discovered in the building’s air ducts.
To make matters worse, Hartzog said a letter from the city’s insurance provider, The Florida League of Cities, suggests that the city may have to eat the cost for repairs.
“What exactly are they trying to say here,” Vice Mayor Teresa Barron asked Hartzog after he read FLC’s letter.
Hartzog said the organization is claiming that the damage may have occurred when the city was insured by another entity. He said City Attorney Norm Fugate would be consulted on the matter once the full report became available.
Commissioner Rollin Hudson said FLC should pay for the repairs. “I don’t know when it happened. They don’t know … but it’s here now.”
Hartzog said the issue would be brought up again at the next regularly scheduled commission meeting.
In other matters:
New District 22 House of Representatives elect Charlie Stone (Rep) showed up to ask permission to open an office in the old Train Depot building, the same space Rep. Leonard Bembry occupied before Stone’s election.
The commission voted unanimously in favor of Stone opening an office at the location.
“I’m here to work hard, and I want to be of service to you and your community,” Stone told the commissioners.
Stone said he would like to have hours in the office twice a month, though no plans were formally stated.