By Sue Ellen Woodcock
The Department of Public Works building at 321 Rear Charger St. has seen better days and now the city is taking a serious look at the condition of the building and the safety of the employees.
Monday night Mayor Brian Arrigo asked the city council to approve $100,000 for DPW yard planning and design.
Arrigo said a structural engineer is looking at the building to make sure it is safe and won’t collapse. After that report, planning and design can be addressed. One option is to bring in modular trailers for offices.
“The issue has been hanging out there for long time,” Arrigo said. “It’s not good for morale.”
Councillor Ira Novoselsky said five years ago he filed a motion regarding the condition of the building. He suggested Arrigo look for help from the Army Corp of Engineers.
“Year after year after year we’ve heard of the problems at the DPW yard, said Councillor John Powers. “Always in the forefront has been the condition of the building and the office space.
Councillor George Rotundo said, “there is black mold down there.”
He added that first, and foremost, the air quality has to be addressed, along with other environmental issues. He questioned the impact on the employees.
Arrigo said they will take a comprehensive look at the building.
“This has been a problem for decades,” Arrigo said. “The building may not be safe. We have to look at air quality, the structure and what the bigger impact will be.”
“The building should be condemned,” said Councillor Anthony Zambuto.
The council voted to send the mayor’s request to the Ways and Means Committee and will hold a public hearing in May.