Tuesday, January 12, 2010  
   Volume 80 - Issue 2 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: passherald@shaw.ca   $1.00   
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2010 New Years Baby Sawyer Hvizdos

 

Building shut down over health concerns, quickly re-opened
 
It wasn't a very merry Christmas at the M.D. McEachern facility, as the municipality dealt with a second water line break in a major facility in the month of December, following an earlier break at the Crowsnest Centre that flooded Indoor Playground.
On Saturday, December 26, Boxing Day, the municipality discovered that a water line in the Brighter Futures office on the second floor had broken and water was flooding through into the first floor. The water knocked ceiling tiles out and ran into the first floor hallway near Kids Kollege, into the Kids Kollege storage office, and a little bit into the nearest Boys and Girls Club room.
Community Services Director Cam Mertz says that the water line broke because of a window that was open in the Brighter Futures office, causing the line to freeze.
Five volunteers from among the affected tenants joined the one municipal worker who was available to clean up the mess. There was reportedly a great deal of water to clean up, and numerous floor tiles were damaged by the flooding.
Parts of the damaged floor were dug up and removed, and the municipality sent a sample of the floor tiles away to see if there was asbestos in it. The building was re-opened between Christmas and New Year's, but some tenants were concerned that the municipality might be ignoring the possibility of asbestos being released into the air from the work done to the floor.
 
One individual at the MDM, who did not wish to be named, said that the municipality should not have opened up the building when there was even the possibility of asbestos in the air. The floor tiles that had been dug up were located right next to the classroom where Kids Kollege was holding their regular programming with young children.
"They were wrong to open that building without having it checked out," said the individual. "I couldn't believe it was being done with the three- and four-year-olds right there. I'm frustrated that they didn't do their part in taking precautions."
Mertz admits that concerns were brought forward, but says that the municipality did not feel the concern was justified. "We deemed it wasn't a safety concern," he says.
However, a tenant at the MDM contacted the health inspector to express those concerns, and the health inspectors from Fort Macleod and Lethbridge attended the site and closed the facility on Monday, January 4.
Mertz says that Golder Associates Ltd was brought in to perform an air quality test, and says that the test showed no risk to public safety. The facility was re-opened in the afternoon on Wednesday, January 6.
The municipality is looking into repairs now, including the flooring and some minor drywall repairs. Mertz says that the municipality is still waiting to learn if there is asbestos in the tiles, and the result of those tests will determine how they approach the repair work.
As of the writing of this article, the MDM is back to full operations.
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