Sat09202014

Last updateThu, 19 Nov 2015 8pm

   20140901MetroCastweb

Town Hall evacuation necessary but not immediate

Update on mold at Colonial Beach Town Hall

Email notifications for special emergency meetings gave the impression that Colonial Beach town hall would be immediately evacuated and called the evacuation an emergency. Although the issues facing town hall are health and safety risks the evacuation will most likely not take place until after the July 4th weekend according to Town Manager, Val Foulds.

After passing a resolution at the June 12 Town Council meeting, to authorize Foulds to spend up to $130,000 to carry out mold remediation and safety repairs at Town Hall located at 18 North Irving Avenue, Foulds has announced they will be evacuating Town Hall by the beginning of July and moving operations to the old Primary Building, on the Colonial Beach elementary school campus, located at 315 Douglas Avenue.

Foulds said it was decided that to keep costs low the town would simply have the building's air conditioner ducts cleaned this Thursday to improve the air quality, allowing for staff members to pack and conduct the move. Foulds hopes to speak with the fire marshal to allow for more time to complete the move.

A resolution passed at the Wednesday morning, June 18 meeting states that this action is being taken to “seek the best use of taxpayer dollars.”

At the June meeting Foulds told the council that the fire marshal had threatened to shut the building down if safety issues had not been addressed by June 28.

In an interview on Wednesday after the meeting, Foulds said that although the staff has corrected many of the safety issues, staff and council discussions have led to the fears that after the building is opened up for mold remediation, more problems may surface costing the town more money.

The Colonial Beach School Board held an emergency meeting on Tuesday June 17 to approve a two-year lease contract with the Town of Colonial Beach to use the Primary Building, owned by the School Board, for Town business offices due to the necessary evacuation of Town Hall for $1.

The Town Council then held an emergency meeting on Wednesday, June 18 at 10 a.m. to discuss the emergency relocation of Town Hall offices and to approve the lease agreement to rent the primary building, between the school board and the town.

Although some refitting work will need to be completed on the primary building before the move is complete Foulds feels it is not cost efficient to put a lot of money into a building they eventually plan to move out of, referring to the current Town Hall building. The Town Council has been discussing for about a year the option of a town center to house all government offices.

Town Hall will still close for duct cleaning at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday. Town Hall will reopen on Friday morning at 9 a.m. More details will be forthcoming to citizens through instant alert and notices posted at the building.

Linda Farneth

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