LOUISBURG -- Planning and tax office staff were expected to be back in their old haunts by week's end after a manic effort to remove mold and rebuild their county office.
County staff closed the building on May 5 after an air quality test revealed health concerning levels of mold.
Commissioners held a special-called session on May 11 to discuss the matter and after a first-hand look at the building's basement on May 13, the governing board voted 5-1 to let Builder Services remediate and renovate the building on Nash Street.
The Creedmoor-based company agreed to do the work for no more than $100,666.07.
Commissioner Don Lancaster was not at the meeting and Commissioner David Bunn cast the lone dissenting vote.
"If it was mine," Bunn said prior to the vote, "I would not spend $100,000 on it."
Before the actions of May 13, apparently, there had been concerns about air quality issues in the building, which dates back to at least the 1940s and, perhaps, the 1920s.
However, a recent stench, which was determined to have been caused by a cracked sewer pipe, prompted the air quality test that was started in April and returned to the county in early May -- prompting the closure.
Builder Services, the same group that removed mold from the courthouse basement, did some remedial work to computers and other equipment on the first floor of the building.
It's owner, Ben Bass, recommended more extensive work to the basement -- which they said harbored 95 percent of the mold problem as the natural flooring and nearby spring created moisture in the building.
The town solicited two more quotes, but Henderson-based Servpro only bid on the remediation services at a cost of $39,271.40. They quoted the work would be done in seven to 10 days.
Rocky Mount's AdvantaClean told staff it could do the remediation and renovations for $178,474.10. The work would take six to seven weeks.
Time, staff said, was of the essence.
The county's planning office was relocated to the Cooperative Extension office's conference room, but the relocation limited services they could provide.
The tax and GIS office was relocated to the county's administration building, however, that location didn't allow staff the ability to continue efforts to collect delinquent taxes, said Tax Assessor Daniel Williams.