Believe it or not, new tests say Union Gap City Hall is safe

Believe it or not, new tests say Union Gap City Hall is safe »Play Video
UNION GAP, Wash. – City Hall still sits vacant. It’s been sealed tight for more than a year.

Initial tests indicated dangerous mold inside. The building was evacuated and employees were relocated across town. The building was all but condemned.

Now, new tests suggest there was never dangerous mold. So, how is this possible? KIMA spoke with former Union Gap Mayor, Jim Lemon.

"Do you think it was a mistake to move out of city hall to begin with?” KIMA asked.

"I don't think it was a mistake to move out of city hall,” Lemon said. “We had to act with the information we were given at the time."

Tests by Fulcrum Environmental last year determined there is toxic mold inside. Fulcrum tells me it stands by that conclusion.

However, last month Union Gap paid Elite Environmental about $4,000 for a second opinion. Elite says the building is safe.

Lemon admits it was a mistake not to have a second test done sooner.

"I think not getting a second opinion shortly after was a waste,” Lemon said.

Fulcrum Environmental tells me Union Gap made the right decision to leave the building. However, the latest results say the problem could be solved with new carpets and a thorough cleaning.

The city is now weighing its options to decide whether to clean City Hall or build a new one. Lemon defends the move at the time.

"Do you wait to get a second opinion from somebody if somebody's yelling fire,” Lemon said. “Even if it's not true, you still have to take in the personnel's safety."

Union Gap spent about $60,000 to vacate city hall. The cost estimates to clean City Hall run as high as $350,000