HOMESTEAD (CBSMiami) – The Homestead City Council spent Monday trying to decide what to do about City Hall. After discussing the issue, the town is ready to look for a new place to work while City Hall is repaired.
In recent testing, Homestead City Hall found the building is contaminated with radon, a radioactive-cancer causing gas. Inside the room which house the air conditioning and duct system, there was standing water and mold.
According to the city, a process of finding lease options in order to move staff out of the current city hall is underway.
“Because they have mold in them, they have air quality that has been affected from the radon that is coming from the basement, so basically the whole air duct system from the A/C would have to be replaced according to the reports that we found from the environmental agencies,” said city spokesperson Begone Cazalis. “Obviously, when you’re here you’d rather not be breathing in radon. But we are concerned. We know that we’re taking the correct steps to study what’s going on in the building and remediate the problem.”
According to the reports, inspectors found asbestos and sections of City Hall which had more than double the levels of radon which requires some sort of action to be taken.
“I worry about it but it is, you know, it’s a process,” said City Hall worker Maria Rosado.
The structure was built in 1959 and that’s a part of the problem; there are some holes in the building as large as a person’s arm which have never been repaired.
Despite the findings, city workers are still working in City Hall offices.
The original fund for a new City Hall remains intact, according to city officials. Whether they will be able to add to it by finding available funds in next year’s budget remains a question.
The city said Monday evening that it would build a new city hall on land that was previously purchased previously. The new site is located off Washington Avenue in Downtown Homestead.
A decision on what will happen to the current city hall will be made at a later date.