PALM COAST, Fla. (FOX 35 ORLANDO) - The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office is again looking for a work space after county officials say they found mold inside the building they were supposed to temporarily move into.
Flagler County officials say they recently purchased the former Sear’s building in Palm Coast for $1.1 million. They say as crews started prepping the place Monday, it started to rain and water began dripping down the walls.
“It’s absolutely frustrating,” said Julie Murphy, a spokesperson for Flagler County.
She says once they took a closer look – they found water intrusion, black mold and other big problems at the building.The site was supposed to house sheriff’s office employees who have been displaced from their own sick building.
“For the first few months, it wasn’t that bad. But next month will be a year that we’ve been out and we’re starting to really feel it,” said Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly.
Thirty-seven employees reported getting sick while working at the sheriff’s office operations center in Bunnell. Now, it sits empty.Deputies and civilian employees have been forced to spread out – in the courthouse, jail and even renting office space.
The county says a lot of those workers were supposed to go into the former Sear’s building while a new facility for the sheriff’s office is built.
“Given that we are dealing with mold problems at the other sheriff’s operations center - the last thing were going to do is put them into different building that also has a mold issue,” Murphy said.
Sheriff Staly says he will never put his people into the building and that they’re back to square one.
“This whole thing has been a fiasco,” Staly said.
County officials say they didn’t know about the building’s problems before they made the purchase. They say they’re looking into any and all legal remedies.