LONGPORT — Complete mold remediation at Borough Hall, including ductwork and heating and air conditioning upgrades and new furnishings, may cost about $1 million.

Mold was found in the Commission Chambers and Centennial Hall in mid-August after the discovery of failed HVAC equipment. The age of the building and water that got underneath the structure after Hurricane Sandy in 2012 are factors, Mayor Nick Russo said.

Both Commission Chambers and Centennial Hall have been closed, and commissioner meetings have been held in the library, which is in the same building.

The city additionally is looking to move its Police Department into trailers while the work is ongoing.

At a workshop Thursday morning, commissioners received an update on how the mold remediation was going, as well as the cost of the project and an anticipated timeline of when it would be finished.

The whole project is anticipated to cost about $1 million and take two to three months or more to complete, borough staff said.

Russo said the borough would most likely use a bond or bonds to pay for the project, but he doesn’t see it costing $1 million.

“I think that number is a little on the high side,” he said. “Sometimes when you are budgeting it’s always good to look at the high side. I would be shocked if we got to that number.”

Borough Hall was built in the mid-1920s and is about 20,000 square feet, according to Monica Kyle, the borough’s municipal clerk.

Municipal Administrator Scott Porter said the ductwork at the Police Department has reached its useful life.

Last month, Russo said five police officers indicated they hadn’t been feeling well, and while it’s unclear whether the officers’ ailments are related to the mold, the borough will temporarily relocate the department to trailers on the property. Porter said he is in the process of getting those trailers.

“The short of it is we’re in year 28 or 29 with the current ductwork that we have for the Police Department,” he said.

Recommendations include galvanizing the ductwork and insulating it from the outside, not from the inside, to make it easier to clean. Porter also said there is no heating system in Centennial Hall but one can be implemented during the ductwork replacement.

He said preliminary costs for ductwork and HVAC replacement would be about $500,000. HVAC work in the Centennial Room would be about $80,000.

Commissioner James Leeds believes the whole project will cost a lot more.

“I know that the mechanical engineer has come up with some pricing for the mechanical portion of it that includes electrical, but it doesn’t include furnishings that we now have to buy and interior fit-up for the Police Department,” he said. “I understand the Police Department is going to be relocated outside at the trailers. The money we have in here is just for the mechanical portion of it, but there’s a lot more that’s coming.”

A new part for an HVAC unit, costing $12,500, was installed in late October, and a dehumidifier and fan were put in the basement of Borough Hall. Public Works will also put a dehumidifier and fan in the crawl space underneath the Police Department.

Contact: 609-272-7239


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