KENNETT, MO (KFVS) – Employees who work in county offices on Main Street in Kennett must relocate due to black mold. The building houses the public defenders office and juvenile offices.
Employees got concerned in June because of some leaks.
Test results came back positive in early July.
Commissioner Don Collins says they felt moving was the only decision since black mold can cause health concerns and can cost a lot of money to remove.
“We didn’t want to leave the county employees or the state employees at risk,” said Collins. “For the near future the building will stay empty and we’ll decide what to do and what’s the best decision cost and health wise for the long term.”
Juvenile officer Tommy Campbell says some of the employees suspected mold after dealing with leaks.
“I do have an employee that has had some allergy problems from it and she’s going through the process of getting it checked,” said Campbell.
This week employees are moving into a building on Commerce Drive. Meanwhile, those who used the building for University of Missouri extension purposes are moving to another site on North Main Street.
“They got right on it,” said Campbell.
Employees say they are happy the county moved them out quickly before many people started getting sick.
According to local doctors, black mold can cause cold and flu like symptoms and irritate your throat.
“It was a blessing in disguise,” said Campbell. “This building is much newer and easier to get to.”
Meanwhile, for the county, black mold removal could come with a price tag in the thousands. So the temporary location could become a permanent one or they may look for another site. Either way, Collins says they will try to save the old building.
“I think it is vital we try to do that,” said Collins. “We are looking for a grant to possibly try and restore it since it has been here so long.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control, a thorough cleaning with the right chemicals should clear it up.
The CDC recommends using soap and water or a solution of bleach and water for hard surfaces.
But materials like ceiling tiles, drywall, and carpet likely needs to be thrown away.
If you find a lot of black mold, the CDC recommends having it professionally cleaned.
Experts say if the area isn’t properly cleaned and dried, those who are allergic can still have reactions to the mold left behind.
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