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Platte County battling mold issue in courthouse
by Dave Kinnamon
Landmark assistant editor

A rolling stone gathers no moss.

But unfortunately some areas of the Platte County Courthouse are gathering high levels of mold.

High enough levels of mold, in fact, that Circuit Judge Owens Lee Hull, Jr., and his staff had to evacuate their offices earlier this week and take up temporary space in a jury deliberation room, according to John Kempt, facilities director.

According to Kempt, Judge Hull discovered the mold about three weeks ago when he noticed it behind some peeling wallpaper in his office area. The mold is black in color, said Kempt.

Kempt and Dana Babcock, director of administration, retained APEX Environmental Consultants to inspect the problem office areas and issue a report.

“APEX performed moisture and air quality tests specifically in Division 2 judge’s office and court reporter’s office,” stated Babcock on Tuesday.

“These tests reported elevated levels of mold in these specific offices. It would appear at this time the mold is a result of leaking windows.”

The initial APEX tests found that the mold level inside Judge Hull’s office were higher than they were outdoors. The mold levels in the court reporter’s office were lower than outside. APEX’s report also specified that outside mold counts may wildly fluctuate during September.

APEX recommended that Platte County correct the mold as soon as possible.

“We’ll remove any wallboard and carpet that’s molded,” Kempt said.

The county will probably contract out the wall section replacements but will replace the carpet with labor performed by county employees, Kempt said.

A company called Steamatic will do the de-molding procedures, Kempt. Steamatic employees are at the courthouse this week performing the mold remediation.

The high presence of mold inside the courthouse does not create any automatic health hazard.

“The only health hazard is for people that are allergic to mold,” Kempt said.

There have been no reported health issues related to mold at the courthouse so far, he said.

“It’s business as usual,” Kempt said.

Based on APEX’s initial findings, Babcock asked APEX to return to the courthouse and test the entire facility room by room, she stated. The results should be available in one-two weeks.

“We appreciate everyone’s help in this matter, and we will do everything necessary to safeguard the health of our employees and visitors to the courthouse,” Babcock stated.



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