PEPPERELL — Officials are awaiting results from a state report before deciding how to handle mold that has been discovered in the public safety complex.
The building, at 59 Main St., serves as headquarters to the Police Department, the Fire/EMS Department and the Communications Department.
A state indoor air quality representative inspected the building last Friday, according to Police Chief David Scott. Another inspection, by Gordon Mycology Laboratories in Littleton, was also conducted.
Scott said that the mold was found on the walls in the building’s basement, as well as in his office. Although he had seen small amounts of mold before near the windows and the heaters, he recently realized that it had extended several feet up the drywall.
“It had always been around the heaters and windows where there’s condensation, but I couldn’t explain why it was up high like that on the drywall,” Scott said.
Although the official results of the inspection are not expected for another week or two, Scott said the inspector identified other issues with the building besides the mold, including the lack of fresh-air intake.
While the town awaits results of the inspection, Scott will be meeting with Town Administrator John Moak and the Board of Health to discuss how to handle the problem.
Scott said while the building is large enough to handle the operations of the three departments, the longevity of the Public Safety Department’s tenure there may have a lot to do with the town’s ability to fund needed updates.
“If we fixed a lot of the issues with the HVAC and the carpet and windows, it wouldn’t be an issue staying here. But there are large costs involved with that and the town isn’t necessarily able to fund a lot of projects right now,” Scott said.
A way of financing any necessary measures to remove the mold has not yet been discussed, Scott said.
Moak also said that funding could be a challenge.
“If there’s a need to do something, we don’t have the funds sitting around to do that,” Moak said at last week’s Board of Selectmen meeting when the issue was mentioned.
Moak said that he was not yet sure if relocation would be required while improvements are made.
At Town Meeting in May, Moak said he hopes to secure funding for a feasibility study on either renovating and expanding the current public safety complex, or looking for another building.