Coun­cil­lor’s More info’ bid re­jected

Taupo Times - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - ROBERT STEVEN

A pro­posal to de­lay re­lo­cat­ing coun­cil staff, raised at Tues­day’s ex­traor­di­nary coun­cil meet­ing, was re­jected be­cause the pos­si­ble risk to staff was deemed too great.

Coun­cil­lor John Boddy re­quested air qual­ity tests to prove staff are at risk of ex­po­sure to as­bestos in­side their work­place, be­fore the coun­cil com­mit­ted ratepay­ers’ money to re­lo­ca­tion costs.

‘‘If we de­cide to build off-site and this build­ing is still work­able, al­though there are some re­pairs that have to be done, why are we go­ing to leave and have the cost of leas­ing out­side this prop­erty and at an ad­di­tional ex­pense to ratepay­ers?

Coun­cil­lor Rosanne Jol­lands sup­ported Boddy’s bid to de­lay the sign­ing of leases, say­ing the de­ci­sion af­fected the re­build-or-re­pair con­sul­ta­tion process.

‘‘Re­gard­less of your ul­ti­mate de­ci­sion of what you do with this build­ing, staff have to leave this build­ing.’’

Coun­cil chief ex­ec­u­tive Gareth Green said the de­ci­sion on whether to leave the build­ing or not was his de­ci­sion, not coun­cil­lors’.

‘‘Re­gard­less of your ul­ti­mate de­ci­sion of what you do with this build­ing, staff have to leave this build­ing,’’ he said.

At the start of the meet­ing, Green tabled a new re­port from an as­bestos-mon­i­tor­ing com­pany, that had done a fol­low-up sur­vey of the build­ing on Thursday May 11.

The re­port rec­om­mended about 150sqm of wall cladding be re­moved by a li­censed con­trac­tor. It rec­om­mended about 140sqm of sof­fits and eaves be en­cap­su­lated with paint and rein­spected pe­ri­od­i­cally.

Pre-empt­ing Boddy’s re­quest for air mon­i­tor­ing, the con­trac­tor also tested for the pres­ence of as­bestos fi­bres in the air at three lo­ca­tions out­side the build­ing and at one lo­ca­tion in the build­ing’s foyer, for two hours.

No as­bestos was de­tected in the air, the re­port said. How­ever, as­bestos fi­bres were found on the ground out­side the build­ing near ex­posed wall cladding sec­tions.

Green said the fact that there was as­bestos in the soil out­side the build­ing meant that as­bestos had fallen and had been in the air at some point in time.

There­fore, the sites posed a health risk to staff that ne­ces­si­tated the re­lo­ca­tion, he said.

Coun­cil­lor Boddy and Jol­lands voted to de­lay the sign­ing of leases, but the ma­jor­ity of coun­cil­lors op­posed the mo­tion.

* Pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion on the new build­ing at taupodc.govt.nz un­til May 26.

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