City waits for air quality tests on use of Council Chambers
The hardwood floors of City Council Chambers are slightly cupped and there’s some paint flaking from the ceiling. Gone are the dehumidifiers and fans that were placed strategically throughout the chambers up until Wednesday in response to a sprinkler pipe that broke last week.
If you didn’t know what to look for, the chambers appear pretty much as it has always been.
But the administration isn’t giving the green light until it gets air quality test results. The concern is mold and mildew, said Mayor Joseph Solomon. If the results are positive, the administration will be faced with rescheduling or relocating meetings planned for the chambers and, worse yet, relocating personnel working in City Hall.
“It smells fine,” chief of staff William DePasquale said yesterday on entering the chambers. He expected test results would be available today.
Assuming they are negative, DePasquale said some board meetings such as planning and zoning could be held in a portion of the chambers while a section is roped off for painting and floor sanding. Other meetings could be held at either the police community room or at the Warwick Public Library, he suggested.
Solomon said he is more concerned by the health aspects of the building than its aesthetics. Having experienced the burst water pipe that forced evacuation of the City Hall Annex in January – those offices are now located in the former Greene School – the administration didn’t delay in reacting to this latest leak.
“We reacted very quickly. We jumped right on it,” said DePasquale.
He couldn’t say whether the sprinkler had had a slow leak prior to rupturing, but once it was discovered the system was immediately shut down. Repairs are being made to the pipe and the fire suppression system should be fully restored this week, he said.
The city will be filing an insurance claim for the cost of the damages.