By Kellen Olshefski


The City of Elkhorn Common Council voted in favor of officially authorizing Balestrieri to handle flood damage cleanup at City Hall at its meeting Aug. 21.

Alderman Scott McClory told council members that the flooding on July 12 led to “very severe” flooding in the basement of City Hall. McClory said as a result, the basement is now showing poor air quality, along with a significant amount of black mold. Such situations need to be sorted out as soon as possible, even if the mold removal cost needs to be considered.

As a result, McClory said the basement has been closed off to the public, the restrooms in that area have been closed and the city has worked to keep staff away from the area as much as possible because of the associated hazards.

McClory said City Administrator Sam Tapson reached out to a vendor concerning the flood damage prior to last week’s Finance and Judicial Committee meeting, to have the company ready to begin repairs and mold remediation following approval by the committee. McClory said crews began work on Aug. 15. These types of crews will use state-of-the-art equipment to ensure that the areas being treated are done with the most efficiency, this is where a Commercial dehumidifier, as well as certain chemicals, will be used to complete these tasks. Hopefully, these repairs will be completed as quickly as possible to get everyone back into these areas of the building.

“We just couldn’t wait anymore because of the conditions, and it was just going to be that much longer until the company could come back and there was potential for the staff to be affected,” McClory said.

McClory said four of the six councilmembers were at the committee meeting, and all were in agreement that they were comfortable authorizing Balestrieri-a Milwaukee company that specializes in mold remediation, among other environmental projects – to move forward with the cleanup project.

“When you’re talking about mold and exposure of that kind, it’s just not the same thing as having a little bit of water in the basement,” McClory said of the committee’s decision to move forward with Balestrieri.

McClory said crews will be working in the basement, and any of the boxes that were severely wet, moldy and damaged were disposed of.

After completion of the basement, which crews were still working on at the beginning of this week, McClory said crews will return after a few days to test air quality and for mold, checking to see if there might be any HVAC issues that carried mold to the front part of the building, for example. At that point, he said, the company will determine whether or not further repairs or cleanup are needed.

McClory’s motion on Aug. 21 was for the council to officially authorize Balestrieri to handle the remediation of mold in City Hall’s basement. The council voted unanimously in favor.

In other business

In other business Aug. 21, Norman Barrientos of Barrientos Design and Consulting provided councilmembers with a presentation outlining his analysis of the City of Elkhorn Department of Public Work’s future space needs, as well as how two sites the city was looking at could be designed for a new Department of Public Work’s garage.

Following his presentation on the proposed project and his take on needs for the department in future years, the council voted unanimously in favor of withdrawing an offer on the Wilson Doors building off of McKenzie Lane in Elkhorn, an offer at an estimated cost of $1.2 million.

For more information on the site analysis and the council’s decision to withdraw the city’s offer, see the Aug. 31 issue of the Elkhorn Independent.


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