Courthouse cleared for cleaning

By Christina Calloway
ccalloway@pntonline.com

Roosevelt County employees were putting their paperwork in boxes and packing desk knickknacks Friday, chased from the county courthouse by the discovery of mold throughout the 76-year-old building. 5-3-Courthouse

Roosevelt County Manager Charlene said county administration has decided to proceed with remediation, or a thorough cleaning, of the courthouse next week to ensure public and employee safety.  Eight types of mold, including a strain of toxic black mold, were found in the building, according to a recent lab report.

A second round of testing was conducted Thursday, but as Webb waits for results, she says there are “no other alternatives” to the remediation. Webb said 34 people work in the courthouse.

The report showed the most significant amount of mold being found in the District Court area.

The courthouse will be closed from Monday through Friday and is scheduled to reopen for business on May 12, according to a press release from Webb’s office. Most offices will be relocated to the Jake Lopez Community Center at the Roosevelt County Fairgrounds.

The remediation cost is not to exceed $175,000, according to Webb, who said the money will come from reserve general funds.

The scope of the cleaning will include replacing ceiling tiles, steam cleaning carpets and sanitizing all the flat surfaces in the courthouse, according to Ninth Judicial District Judge Donna Mowrer.

Webb said the mold’s source has yet to be discovered, but said a variety of factors, such as high wind, could have played a role.

Webb said an environmental consultant will test the facility again to make sure the building is safe before reopening it.

Webb said she knows of no previous problems the building has had with mold.

“It’s an old building, old cars break down, old buildings have issues,” Webb said.

Ninth Judicial District Chief Judge Drew Tatum said Friday he was “very pleased” with the efforts and the action being taken by the county.

“Upon all the cleanup and remediation that’s going to be done next week, everything is going to be cleaned up,” Tatum said.
He felt the immediacy to act was needed to ensure safety.

“I think it’s a good response, it’s probably the best thing we could do and hopefully  there’s no more needed after this,” Tatum said.

Fast Facts

The Roosevelt County Courthouse will be closed to the public and staff Monday through Friday. The courthouse is scheduled to reopen for business on May 12.

The following offices in the courthouse will be temporarily relocated to the Jake Lopez Community Center at the Roosevelt County Fairgrounds at 705 E. Lime:

• Ninth Judicial District Court staff will be available for filings. All court proceedings will be held in Clovis.
• Administration office.
• County clerk’s office.
• The treasurer’s office.
• The assessor’s office,
• Magistrate Misdemeanor Probation Officer Tamera Peel will be relocated to the Roosevelt County Chamber of Commerce.
• The rural addressing/GIS office will be relocated to the Roosevelt County Road Barn.
Information: 356-5307 or visit rooseveltcounty.com.

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