Concern after flooding in Pawtucket City Hall - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Concern after flooding in Pawtucket City Hall

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Samantha Dwyer
Nicole Gerber

ngerber@abc6.com

@nicolegerber

PAWTUCKET - In Pawtucket's City Hall there are buckets set up to catch dripping water, and ceiling tiles that are completely rotted through... creating quite an eyesore on the top floor.

Leaking and flooding have been issues under the building's tower for years,  but now there's an even bigger concern.

"Sinus problems, breathing issues, and headaches and so forth and so on," said City Councilor Albert Vitali as he described the symptoms more than 10 city hall employees told him they have been experiencing.

He says they believe the health issues stem from mold.

"It's gotten to the point now where the people who work here are concerned about their health, their safety," he said.

The mayor's office disagrees.

"We just had a facilities study done, there was no findings of mold in that facilities study. Additionally we haven't had any reports from our employees or our union groups to us as an administration," said Dylan Zelazo, director of Communications for the mayor's office.

However they do agree something has to be done to curb flooding issues.

Last week the water disabled the elevator and it took 4 days to get it up and running again.

"There's certainly a long–term deferred maintenance problem that we have to address," said Zelazo.

The mayor's office is discussing more permanent fixes to the leaking in the tower. They include removing the tower completely, installing a tarp to protect it, or an additional outer layer... but those fixes could cost more than $2 million.

In the meantime, councilor Vitali said he wants an air quality test to ensure the safety of city hall employees.

Moving forward the mayor's office plans holding open city–wide meetings too get the public's input on how to best fix the flooding issue.

(c) WLNE-TV 2014

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