Town Hall To Relocate In Light Of Mold Infestation

Photo by Lizzie Nimetz.
Photo by Lizzie Nimetz.
Photo by Lizzie Nimetz.

After finding mold in Town Hall, which resulted in employees becoming ill, New Paltz Town Supervisor Susan Zimet said the town will rent nine modular office buildings from the company Mod Space. These modular offices will form a 6,000 square-foot building.

She said the modular office will be paid for with contingency funds set aside in the budget by previous town boards specifically for the possibility of ever having to move into a rental office.

The modular office will be by the highway garage on Clairewater Road, near the baseball fields and recycling center.  Originally, there was discussion of putting them in town hall’s parking lot, Zimet said.

“We would be in a work zone and we don’t need to be there breathing in all the potential asbestos and other issues that the building has,” Zimet said.  “The highway superintendent realized that there was space up there and he suggested that. We went with the modular office and decided that was the best site because it gets us away from town hall and gives us flexibility to decide what we’re going to do with town hall.”

Zimet said the current plan is to be moved into the modular office by the end of October.  She said before the offices can be delivered, the windows, doors and outside siding must be fixed by Mod Space.  Highway Superintendent Chris Marx also needs to prepare the site by leveling the parking lot and getting the water and sewer systems ready, she said. Once set up, the water, sewer and electricity will need to be hooked up to the building.

Currently, all the public meetings are taking place at the New Paltz Community Center to prevent further exposure to the mold.

Once the board is ready to move, they will bleed all the pipes, put antifreeze in them  and lock the doors of town hall leaving the building empty, Zimet said.

With employees still working in town hall despite the mold, Zimet said she split the workday into two shifts, so every department is fully covered.  The first shift is from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and the second is from 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. Once moved into the modular office, normal hours of 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. will resume.

Zimet said town hall is currently being inspected to see if the furniture, files and computers have mold on them so they are not taken to the modular office in this condition.  According to Zimet, after the inspection they will receive an estimate on how much it would cost to remediate the items.

Zimet also said the board is hoping to have a plan as soon as possible for their location after their time in the modulars.  She plans to hold a meeting the first week of October where the board can review their options and find a permanent location for town hall.

“If we don’t come up with a plan sooner than later what will happen, which happens too many times with many governments, is you’ll see town employees in these modulars for the next 20 years, so we have to come up with a plan and we have to execute a plan,” Zimet said.