City Settles w/OSHA Over Court Mold

COTTONWOOD – The Cottonwood City Council has approved a settlement with OSHA over the condition of the Cottonwood Municipal Court building. Former employees of the court had filed a complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

The city had already confronted the mold problem in July 2009 after the judge and public works officials investigated. The city sealed off two building additions that were below grade and trapped moisture. Officials determined the then-smaller facility should be returned to the retail sector and Cottonwood should find a more suitable court building.

OSHA issued Cottonwood two citations on Nov. 24.

The first citation identified the mold in the rear building additions and in some files there.

The second citation referred to issues such clutter, identification of exit doors and equipment labeling.

When the federal health officials met with the city, Cottonwood had already taken steps to remedy the high levels of mold in the additions. The city had decided to abandon the old court building and move to the former Carpet One showroom at Sixth and Mingus, opposite the Verde Justice Court when that building had been remodeled.

OSHA agreed that as long as the plan goes forward on schedule, a nominal settlement of a $500 fine would be imposed.

Two boxes of mold-bearing files were copied and incinerated, according to instructions by the Arizona Supreme Court and other non-critical.

The Verde Independent
By Jon Hutchinson
Staff Reporter

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