June 17, 2010

Courthouse cleaning kickoff in full swing

By Michael Johnson, Editor

A steady flow of file cabinets and other movable objects started moving out of the Dakota Central Social Services offices of the McLean County Courthouse on Tuesday morning. A crew from I.C.Y. Industrial Services is taking care of the cleanup project, which includes decontaminating all materials to be moved from the courthouse as well as all interior nooks and crannies of the building. Work started Monday and the project manager, Brent Sanders, said the plan is to be through with the basement level by Thursday. The process of cleaning out everything is tedious but necessary in order to make sure the risk of spores moving from one place to another is eliminated. The cleaning was made necessary after two courthouse employees became ill. The cause could be linked to spores formed from bat feces. Bats were once prevalent in the attic of the courthouse, as was their feces. Social service employees moved to the Nodak Mutual Insurance building on Monday with little more than a desk, chair and each other to visit. Steve Reiser, social services director, said that there was little they could do at that point until phones and computers were hooked up. Workers from West River Telephone were on site installing the new phones so that they could be online later that day. While waiting for the connection Mary Devlin and the other social workers joked about the absence of walls. An insulated interview room will be constructed to allow for private conversations with clients as they come in. Dividers will also block off each workspace.


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