By Sue Ellen Woodcock
The City Council approved $82,000 to set up a new home for the Revere Department of Public Works on Charger Street. But talk of mold and health concerns soon turned to the conditions inside City Hall.
George Anzuoni, director of finance for the city, came before the council to discuss the $6.9 million the city received from insurance for damage from a tornado three years ago. So far, the roofs at the high school, fire department, senior center and the American Legion have been repaired, as well as a number of other areas. The funds from the insurance will reimburse what has already been spent.
Hearing this, Councillor George Rotondo asked about the conditions at the DPW building. Anzuoni said the council approved $82,000 for the lease of land and a trailer to replace the rundown, moldy office.
Councillor Anthony Zambuto asked about repairing city hall, which is 100 years old and falling apart, especially on the second floor, and has mold issues in the basement. Anzuoni said a decision on a final plan has not been made, and no final cost has been determined.
“The roof has been patched, and now, we have to decide on the plan for City Hall. City Hall had the most damage of any of the city property. This is an old building, and it was shaken,” Anzuoni said.
On the second floor in the area of the stage there is extensive damage. The council chambers, also on the second floor, have pieces of the ceiling regularly falling. Councillor Jessica Gianinno is well aware of the falling debris. There is also concern about what’s in the falling debris. Many also have health concerns.
“City Hall is in terrible shape,” Giannino said. “There are buckets put out when it rains. We’re putting employees at risk.”
Anzuoni said there is some evidence of mold, but it is not higher than the allowable rates.
Ward 6 Councillor Charles Patch said the mold issue reminds him of the old police station. Ward 3 Councillor Arthur Guinasso said his son works in the basement of City Hall, and has been diagnosed with Legionella, a bacteria-driven illness derived from Legionnaires disease. He has been out of work for four months.
“It comes from the air,” Guinasso said. “Another individual who works there has also lost weight. This is nothing to fool around with. This is somebody’s health.”
Rotondo added that the DPW fix should not have taken so long.