Tuesday, January 17th, 2017

County Court House closes for asbestos removal

When the County adopted a long- term energy saving program, they knew the day would come. Thirty people working out of the old County  Court House will be moved, lock, stock and barrel (desks, file cabinets and computers) to other spaces throughout the County. Some will find temporary homes in spaces in a County-owned building on William Street in the Village of Lyons core; others may be shifted to the Public Safety Building out on Route 31.

Department of Public Works Director Kevin Rooney said the move – completely out of the building – will speed up the removal of asbestos materials, deemed highly dangerous under today’s standards.

Years ago asbestos was used in walls, ceiling and floor tiles and especially around piping and electrical work in older buildings. Its removal became mandatory in certain places and conditions, especially when buildings undergo remodeling. Prolonged inhalation of minute asbestos fibers can cause serious illnesses including malignant lung cancer, mesothelioma, as well as other maladies. Often asbestos is ignored, or covered up, but once disturbed, it must be removed.

Rooney said this part of the energy project will cost about $100,000 and begin March 1st, taking about 60 days to complete. He emphasized that the asbestos removal, from the 19th Century structure, will not remove all the building’s asbestos, only in places where walls will be breached for the energy project, as well as ceiling and floor tiles.

Rooney met with the Board of Supervisor’s DPW committee on Thursday to review the plans and suggest where each department will be moved. “The hardest department with be the Public Defender’s Office with 13 employees” said Rooney.

Once the final decisions are made, the public will be notified where the departments will be temporarily housed and where open meetings will be held.