Howard Lake-Waverly Herald, Nov. 5, 2001

Fungus inspection ordered at library; demolitions to begin

By Lynda Jensen

A series of water problems during the past year at the Howard Lake Public Library may have turned into a potential new problem - fungus.

The fungus problem cropped up recently when one of three employees for the library was diagnosed with an illness possibly related to mold Oct. 16.

The Howard Lake City Council took action Wednesday, ordering a fungal inspection of the building, which is expected to take place Friday, said Administrative Intern Kelly Bahn.

Industrial Hygiene, one of two companies that do this kind of work in the state, was hired by the council for $2,500 to test the library.

The company advised the council that it was safe to keep the library open for the time being.

Residents with allergies to mold should probably steer clear of the library for the time being, Administrator Doug Borglund commented.

It will take about two weeks for the sample cultures to come back from the lab, Bahn said. The firm will submit a correction plan at the end of its analysis.

In the meantime, the library is open to the public as usual, Bahn said. The problem is not a public health threat, she said.

Previously, the city planned to replace the carpeting and give it a new coat of paint. These plans were put on hold, until the investigation is completed, Bahn said.

Water problems for the library go back to the end of December, when a pipe in the utility room froze and burst.

Water poured forth, soaking the two thirds of the orange carpeting used throughout the library.

Then, in the spring, a storm drainage problem caused additional water problems.

Since then, construction along Highway 12 has contributed to two additional incidences of water back ups this summer, when the carpeted received additional water, Librarian Barb Peterson said.

The carpet is what was originally installed in 1979.

Turning to other matters, the council approved the demolition of the following five properties:

· former David Kadlec house

· former John Kadlec house

· Mike Casey garage

· former Milo's Cafe

· the former home of David and Michelle DuChaine

The demolitions will begin this week.

In an unrelated matter, the council approved a bid of $5,500 from Don Rettman of Darwin to install a wood chip trail at Dutch Lake.

In a separate subject, the council rescinded its support of a letter written by the Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted school district PTA to the Minnesota Department of Transportation, in which the PTA asked for a bypass of the Highway 12 project. It was deemed no longer necessary, since the detour will be shortened to Wright County Road 6 going south at Highway 12, which would avoid the school.

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