Apparent mold found in West Annex
Months after a Billings company tested and concluded that there was no dangerous mold growth in the part of the old hospital called the West Annex, which houses a handful of county offices, mold has reportedly been found.
In an Aug. 14 email to the Stillwater County Commissioners, Extension Agent Lee Schmelzer stated the following:
“As we have mentioned before the outside door leaks and water runs in under the door under the rug. There are mold spots there. However, from the outside, it doesn’t look like the water is running in from its usual spot. Also, We also have mold coming out under the paint in another area that isn’t close to the door and isn’t coming from the door leak. We have never seen it wet there.”
When asked what the commissioners were doing about the report, Commissioner Maureen Davey responded in an email, “Whatever was on the wall was cleaned by the facilities supervisors with bleach?”
Davey did not respond to a question about if the substance reported as mold had been tested.
Commissioner Dennis Shupak did not respond to the News’s question. Commissioner Mark Crago said he was told a bleach-based compound was used to clean it.
Crago broached the issue at last week’s facilities meeting, with Facilities Supervisor Jerry Bokma reporting that “we cleaned the mold…we sprayed it with a 10 percent solution,” as well as performing outside work, including caulking and additional flashing where it appeared as if moisture was getting in.
Davey said there was a question if the substance was even mold, or maybe just dirt.
WHY IT MATTERS
In June, the commissioners held an emergency meeting regarding whether or not the old hospital needed to stay closed down due to the discovery of approximately 13,000 square feet of asbestos.
During that meeting, Shupak referred to a report from Northern Industrial Hygiene about mold testing conducted at the old hospital, the West Annex and the Meadowlark Assisted Living Center, saying “It’s clear…There’s no problem working in there (the old hospital).”