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Water damage affects city hall

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City of Woodville Logo 300By Mollie LaSalle
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WOODVILLE – Woodville City Council met Monday evening and got an update on the situation at City Hall from City Administrator Mandy Risinger.

Risinger briefed council on the timeline of events that transpired the evening of June 19.

An employee had stopped by city hall (which was closed for a holiday) and they found a water heater had burst and had basically flooded the majority of the first floor. Employees were able to isolate the port area and A/R area, the rest of the first floor was flooded.

“We immediately called Servpro, and they arrived around 8:30 that night, and stayed until 1:00 a.m. the next morning trying to suck up all the water. They installed about 15-20 fans to try and dry everything out”. Risinger was told that Servpro needed and asbestos report to proceed with cleanup. Risinger and city secretary Terri Bible found the original report in a vault that said most of the asbestos had been removed. The report was presented to Servpro and they determined that the asbestos tile was left, “as long as the asbestos is contained, and not in the air, it’s not going to hurt you”, Risinger said.

In the meantime, moisture continued to rise up the sheetrock, and got up to two feet up the walls. The next plan was to cut the sheetrock to keep it from getting all the way up the wall. Another concern was the elevator, which was discovered to have six to eight inches of water in the shaft (pit). The lobby was closed to the public the next morning, and services were done through the drive-thru window. The city contacted the engineers who did the remodel (in 2001) when the city bought the building, and they referred them to the company that did the original report. The company came down from Tyler on June 26, and did an updated asbestos report, at a cost of $985; in the end, they determined it was the asbestos in the tile. It was recommended that all the tile be removed because some of it had broken loose. The city got a bid of $6K to remove all the tile and has accepted the proposal. As of July 10, the company that is going to do the work has not given the city a date or timeline for the removal.

Risinger reiterated that that “the only reason we’re removing the asbestos is the water damaged tile has got to go.”

The lobby was opened back up on July 11, and hopefully, all the issues related to the water damage will be resolved in a timely manner. The roofing company has also begun work on the new roof.

In other business, council discussed the approval to hold a joint election on Nov. 7. This item was tabled until next month, as the city has until August 21 to get this approved.

Bythewood appointed mayor pro-tem Joyce Wilson and alderman Mike Cabaniss to the 2023-24 budget committee, with council’s approval, and former mayor and Walmart team member Paula Jones spoke to council about the grand re-opening at the store scheduled for July 21, at 9 a.m. Jones mentioned that everyone is invited, and store managers have received confirmation that a representative from John Cornyn and Brian Babin’s offices would be on hand; they have a “maybe” from Rep. Trent Ashby’s office.

“There’s going to be food and craft vendors, and the Weinermobile is scheduled to appear, also”, Jones added. The ribbon cutting will be at 9:30 a.m. with the Tyler County Chamber of Commerce.

Council went into executive session at 6:30, and upon returning to open session announced that the female office employees who have been working under hazardous conditions since June 19 should receive extra compensation for working in a less than ideal environment, due to the flooding; this was quickly approved by the council, and at this point, Wilson made a motion to adjourn for the evening.

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