Odor issue drives appraiser?s office to temporary location downtown

Until the source of an odor in the courthouse basement is determined and remedied, the Marion County appraiser?s office will be relocated to Great Plains Computers & Network?ing, 324 E. Main in Marion.

Whatever has been producing the odor may be making office employees ill.

County commissioners approved the temporary relocation, including a $525 weekly rental fee, at their special meeting Tuesday, Sept. 8. The initial commitment is for 30 days, at which point the situation is to be reevaluated.

The appraiser?s department will be located on the second floor of the Great Plains building, but employees will come to the ground floor to assist the public.

Appraiser Cindy Magill said one employee has taken sick leave with bronchitis and another with pneumonia. She said it is difficult to get departmental work done with employees ill.

In a related decision, the commissioners approved contracting for $2,029 with National Catastrophe Restoration Inc. to test the basement ?to see what?s going on.?

NCRI specializes in repairing devastation caused by natural or man-made disasters.

County Clerk Carol Maggard said the problem is most likely a ?carpeting issue,? due to former wet conditions. Commissioners authorized Maggard to solicit bids for new carpet.

Magill said her department will take a minimum of equipment to the new location to reduce the amount of labor needed to make the move. She said one employee will remain at the courthouse until the rest of the department returns.

Commissioner Randy Dallke noted the possibility that identifying and fixing the problem could take as long as 90 days.

Commissioner Bob Hein said, ?But it may not take as long as we think?maybe six weeks or so.?

Maggard suggested it may take only 30 to 60 days.

Commission Chair Dan Holub said there is enough space at Great Plains that the county may want to move road and bridge offices there, too, until the odor issue is resolved.

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