Wet police basement calls for professional cleaning

The city of Flandreau is considering spending more than $32,000 in cleanup and repairs to the basement at the Police Department because of wet and moldy conditions.
The cost would include hiring Interior Technicians Inc. of Sioux Falls to clean the area and Blackburn Basement Systems to come in and fix the water seepage problems.
“This situation is bigger than this year’s weather pattern, but it’s certainly been exasperated by that,” City Administrator Jeff Pederson said of the wet conditions. When he first visited the office after being hired in May, he noticed the musty smell and humidity throughout the building. It is a work environment health issue, he said.
Police Chief Zach Weber said wherever there is wood in the large open basement, there is mold. That includes paneling and wooden cabinets, and city employees have removed as much as they can.
“Everything down there is wood,” Weber said. A professional cleaning would take up to a week and cost about $11,000, estimates show.
Repair work to fix the water problem and prevent it in the future would cost more than $21,000, according to an estimate from Blackburn Basement. Work would include a tile system, a sump pump system and an industrial dehumidifier.
Weber said it appears the water is coming from the ground and not the walls.
The city has some money in its contingency budget to pay for the cleanup this year, Pederson said. The city also has budgeted $10,000 in next year’s budget, which would mean it would need to come up with about an additional $10,000, he said.
Mayor Mark Bonrud said all of the first responders in town would like a better building they could be proud of, including the Moody County Sheriff’s Office and the ambulance building. The concern is costs. “I guess we have to do what we have to, to make it safe for people to be in,” he said.
The city will add additional dehumidifiers until the problem can be fixed.
The Police Department also has filled its open officer position with Flandreau resident Taylor White, who has most recently worked as a paramedic for Moody County Ambulance. White, who will be paid $15.96 an hour, will begin work Oct. 22 and is signed up for training at the police academy next summer.
White will continue to work part time for the county ambulance service, as well. In addition, Moody County commissioners voted last week to fill the ambulance service’s director job that has been vacant since last November. The county will advertise for the position, which has been under the commission’s direction since the vacancy occurred with the firing of Eric Kovach.

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