Wed | Oct 23, 2019

Hanover MC building making us sick – staff

Published:Thursday | April 11, 2019 | 12:24 AMBryan Miller/Gleaner Writer
A 2006 Gleaner file photo of the Hanover Municipal Corporation building.

Western Bureau:

Members of staff at the Hanover Municipal Corporation (HMC) have penned a letter to the CEO, David Gardner, complaining that the working conditions at the Lucea-based building have become unbearable and are causing them to fall ill.

The workers say that the structural integrity of the building, which is more than 150 years old, has been badly compromised because of a combination of age and the failure to effect repairs over the years. Additionally, they said that recent rains resulted in flooding in some offices because of the deteriorating roof.

They say that after months of trying to live through the poor working conditions, they would like to see the issues addressed speedily.

At Tuesday’s meeting of the HMC’s Infrastructure Development and Traffic Management Committee, Easton Edwards, councillor of the Lucea Division, also raised concerns about a flock of birds that have made the roof of the building their home, contributing to the gradual destruction of the building.

“Through my layman thinking, I believe the acid from the faeces from the birds, because the building is made of board, will do further damage to the building,” said Edwards. “We have to block them out because sooner than later, we are going to lose the building. The birds can fly all over the place, but we cannot just jump up and build a new building.”

He added: “I think that expeditiously, we need to deal with the matter, so we need to send an estimate to the finance department of the corporation, or if it is a situation where we have to send it to the Ministry [of Local Government], if necessary, to correct same, we do that.”

Reference was also made to the minutes of previous committee meetings, which showed that up to recently, the roof in the section of the building that houses the mayor’s office had to be repaired because water was running down on the walls and affecting electrical fixtures.

At that point, Dwayne Johnson, the deputy superintendent of roads and works and the committee’s clerk, revealed that he had received two letters from the staff in one department, complaining about their work environment within the building.

In one of the letters, a member of staff complained about being asthmatic, which makes working in the damp environment inside the building, especially when it rains, a major challenge as he regularly gets ill to the point of requiring medical attention.

The building was last extensively refurbished in 1999.