NORTH OGDEN -- Residents here will not be able to access the city offices until at least Christmas. Although work is nearly complete with the repairs and refurbishment from the sewage leak last month, the city has found another problem -- mold from several sources.
Some mold was discovered from the sewage leak, but other mold has been found in several places in the building and has to be fixed before the building can be used completely. Mold was first found in the basement near a window that hadn't been properly sealed years ago. That was fixed, but city officials felt that a thorough check of the building should be done before any more work was complete.
"We thought we just needed to do it right," said City Recorder and Human Resource Director Annette Spendlove.
The disaster services company that was repairing the sewage problem checked the rest of the building for mold and it was discovered that fairly high levels were in the attic and in a couple of other places upstairs. Spendlove said there wasn't proper ventilation in the attic and that a hood pipe hadn't been sealed off properly from the old kitchen when the building was used as a senior center before it became the city offices.
Right now there are two upstairs offices that are sealed off and can't be entered into until the mold is cleaned out. Spendlove said the levels aren't toxic, but are high enough that it shouldn't be breathed in the open air.
The basement is nearly complete and employees are planning to move back into the basement on Monday, but the upstairs offices, where the mold has been discovered, will most likely not be finished until Christmas. Basement employees, including the community development department, have been working in CERT trailers in the parking lot of the city offices.
"It has been very cold out there for them and they are eager to get back inside," Spendlove said.
The repairs from the sewage leak will covered by insurance except for the $1,000 deductable. At first the city thought there was a $50,000 cap on repairs, but Spendlove found there was a rider on the insurance so that part will be completely covered. The mold discovered upstairs and what was found in the basement is not covered by insurance. Building official Gary Kerr is working on the numbers for what those repairs will cost, but Spendlove said no numbers have been released yet.
Both Spendlove and Mayor Richard Harris said the city has learned a lot from this experience - of things that can be done better if another disaster happens in a bigger measure. Spendlove talked about the city records that were luckily undamaged, but have been stored in cardboard boxes.
"We will never store anything in cardboard again. Everything will be kept and sealed in plastic," she said.
Harris has felt a little disjointed from the city because he has no office to go to. The city offices have been housed in the community services building up the street, but there is not enough room there for him.
"I can do my work from home, but it is hard not being in there and communicating with everyone," he said.
Residents can still do transactions with the city at the community services building and are encouraged to check the website regularly for any changing news regarding the city building at www.northogdencity.com.