NILES, Ohio (WYTV) – Niles City Hall reopened Wednesday morning after a water and mold problem was discovered inside the building.
City Service Director James DePasquale said the moldy mess was discovered after a few employees inside the building started feeling dizzy and having trouble breathing.
Several offices and sections of the building were blocked off with plastic while restoration crews went through the building, wiping everything down. Meanwhile, several roofing companies were examining the source of City Hall’s water problems.
Scott Froelich, president of TEMA Roofing Services, said water is getting through a portion of the roof and insulation, causing leaks and mold to form in the building. A new roofing system needs to be put in place, as the current one has met its life expectancy.
“If anybody were to get on top of this roof and walk around, you’d notice that there’s clear deficiencies that the roof needs repaired,” Froelich said.
According to DePasquale, the city knew about the roof leak five years ago but was told it just needed patchwork.
At a city council meeting Wednesday night, Niles officials addressed citizens’ concerns about the black mold discovery.
While city leaders say the building itself is stable, the roof is in dire need of repair and the mold has to be removed. They are now on a desperate timeline, looking to get funds as soon as possible to repair City Hall.
“This can move forward as quickly as it is relative to getting shared services in place to better use people’s money,” said Council President Bob Marino.
Proposals vary in the six figures and council is looking at three different contractors to fix the roof, the outside of the building and the mold problem.
“It is going to be a substantial amount of money to do this but until that roof is in place, those areas cannot be scrubbed down and cleaned for mold, because that is the source,” DePasquale said.
For the time being, the Engineer and Building and Zoning departments have been moved to the first floor, while the Tax and Payroll Department will be relocated to the Mayor Ralph Infante Wellness Center.
Until everything is taken care of, city council will be holding special meetings each day next week at 5:30 p.m. to get the building fixed as quickly as possible.