Officials debate severity of mold problem in Spencer County Sheriff's Department
Spencer County leaders are debating whether mold in the Spencer County Sheriff's Department is a real danger or just a mere inconvenience.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Spencer County leaders are debating how severe the mold problem is in the building that housed the Spencer County Sheriff's Department and what the remedy might be.
The debate took place Wednesday inside an Oldham County court, after a Spencer County judge recused himself.
On Wednesday in court, a local pathologist testified on the potential health impacts of mold on the human body. A project manager with SERVPRO, a certified mold remediation company, testified on preliminary proposal of remediating the mold.
Spencer County Judge Executive John Riley testified on the timeline of when the mold concerns came to light. And Spencer County Sheriff Buddy Stump also testified to the mold concerns.
Both sides are trying to determine how dangerous the mold situation is. They will have to decide if the building can be remediated and then fixed -- if not, the offices will have to be relocated. Both sides are also arguing if a temporary solution is sufficient and if the Spencer County Fiscal Court responded appropriately.
It all goes back to the conditions inside the Spencer County Sheriff's Department -- and on Wednesday, a WDRB News crew was allowed to tour the building.
From the floor boards to the ceiling tiles, Spencer County Sheriff Buddy Stump says his department's headquarters is consumed by dangerous mold. As Sheriff Stump provided a tour of the building Wednesday, he wore a mask.
No one has been working inside the building for at least three months, ever since mold was found inside. Stump says it was causing serious health concerns for his deputies, and for anyone else coming into the building.
"What we've done is try to do the right thing for the employees -- and the right thing for the citizens, liability-wise," Sheriff Stump said.
After some initial testing, special filters were put inside, but Stump says that's not a proper fix.
"They have done absolutely nothing but put in a couple air scrubbers, which actually started moving the air around and cause our employees to get to where they felt worse," Sheriff Stump said.
Stump believes it could take $100,000 to rid the building of mold. Then repairing walls and duct work would be an added cost and more time. After our tour, Sheriff Stump was ordered to take judge executive Riley's attorney and a few others through the building.
Before walking in, they refused a mask, or to sign a waiver.
"What I've been told is the retest on the air doesn't really matter anyway until the mold is physically removed from the building," Stump said.
Whether his deputies move to a new building or back into a renovated building, Stump says taking care of everyone in Spencer County from the mobile unit outside is not an acceptable long-term option.
"It's going to be up to the Fiscal Court -- what they do," Sheriff Stump said. "And me as a sheriff and my employees, we're at the brunt of whatever they do. And the citizens -- we'll do the best for them we can under the circumstances."
Any prices, timelines, or other options are all up in the air. Oldham County Judge Karen Conrad must make the decision.
We reached out to Spencer County Judge Executive John Riley for comment and have not heard back yet.
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