Ann Arbor to pay $66K to clean up moldy police property in city hall after February flooding
Work to clean up mold in the basement of Ann Arbor's city hall and on police property items will begin following action taken by the City Council Monday night.
Council members voted 11-0 to approve a $66,400 contract with Protech Environmental Services for the cleaning and decontamination of the Ann Arbor Police Department property rooms and storage trailers, as well as all items contained inside them.
According to a memo from Officer Rebecca Provancher, the cleaning and decontamination will consist of three property rooms, the training room in the basement of city hall, plus the contents of three property trailers located in the city hall garage.
Ryan J. Stanton | AnnArbor.com
"Most of the property was out in the old garage and there was a water pipe break in February that pretty much flooded everything that was in there," explained Deputy Chief Greg Bazick, who attended Monday's meeting.
"So we had to relocate it so construction could continue. It's been in the basement of city hall, contained in a couple of the property rooms, and then we also have a couple of shipping containers out in the city hall garage — or old garage as we call it."
Bazick said the police department has been working in consultation with the prosecutor's office to dispose of any property that it can.
"I'm pretty sure that everything that is in the basement now — or for the most part — it was out there in that garage, so it got wet, mold grew on it," he said. "I saw some of it, though. What we still have down there is not terribly bad. It still needs to have mold remediation."
The cost of the cleanup will be paid for from the police general fund, but the department plans to seek reimbursement from the city's risk management fund.
Ann Arbor police officers and the union that represents them have had longstanding concerns about elevated levels of mold, radon and asbestos in the basement of city hall where they worked for many years. Following a multimillion-dollar renovation of city hall and construction of a new police headquarters next door, the basement is now equipped with new evidence rooms, police lockers and conference space, but the health concerns remain.
A representative of the police officers union told AnnArbor.com recently that the basement remains a mess eight months after the flooding, with suspected mold present on ceiling tiles and water stains on carpeting in the conference space.
Adkins argued the cleanup of the property rooms should have been done months ago. She added the contract council approved Monday night does nothing to address any other problems the basement has experienced.
Adkins said the union has filed a grievance against the city asking for medical monitoring of its members due to the building conditions. She said the grievance has been denied at the city administration level and the union is prepared to take the issue to arbitration.
The union still is requesting to conduct its own testing of conditions in the basement prior to moving police officers into the locker rooms. For now, police are using space at the Wheeler Service Center in Pittsfield Township to get dressed before and after work.
Bazick said he expects the police to be using the lockers inside the renovated basement of city hall by about Jan. 1.
"My understanding is that we're waiting for this mold remediation project to be completed, so that the last air quality testings can be done, so everybody's comfortable with the fact that any mold that was on that property that may have left residue behind has been cleaned up."
Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for AnnArbor.com. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to AnnArbor.com's e-mail newsletters.