Skip to content

Colfax approves cleaning basement for $17,000

By LeAnn R. Ralph

COLFAX — Air MD Restoration Inc. will have their work cut out for them cleaning the Colfax Municipal Building basement to alleviate mold problems.

The Colfax Village Board accepted a bid of $16,710 from Air MD at the August 12 meeting.

 The village board approved air quality testing and developing a mold remediation plan in July, and the testing focused on the police department offices along with the furnace room and the community room in the basement.

Anything below 800 is not considered an elevated mold level, noted Jackie Ponto, administrator-clerk-treasurer.

Air samples were collected July 24 and were compared to mold levels in outside air samples.

According to the report from a company called Pro-lab out of Florida, the outside air sample measured 1,740, which compared to a level of 120 in the police department, 680 in the furnace room and 800 in the community room.

The testing was done on a dry day, and there has not been much rain lately, Ponto said.

Still, Chuck Daul of Air MD said he could tell there had been standing water on the floor in the basement at some point, she said.

Richard Johnson, village trustee, pointed out that the municipal building roof had been leaking before it was repaired and that it had leaked all the way down into the basement.

Even though the mold levels in the municipal building are not especially high, “something is making people itch and have a reaction,” Ponto said.

Daul recommended that the building be tested for Radon gas and also recommended that the basement be thoroughly cleaned, she said.

The worst area for mold is the little storeroom underneath the steps, and the Sheetrock in the furnace room is soft enough you can poke a finger through it, Ponto said.

The basement has not had any work done in 13 years, including cleaning, Johnson pointed out.


Village board members agreed that they felt more comfortable with the bid from Air MD because it was a detailed bid and not an estimate.

ServiceMaster submitted an estimate of $15,000 for cleaning the municipal building basement, but the scope of work did not include individual amounts for each task.

Several board members said they were skeptical of an estimate.

Servpro of Barron, Dunn and Rusk Counties submitted a bid of $24,474 for cleaning the basement.

The scope of work from Air MD includes removing the mold damaged cabinets, shelves and carpeting from the furnace room; removing the lower four feet of the west wall in the furnace room and removing the lower four feet of the walls in the kitchen and in the community room; removing the ceiling tile and the cabinets in the kitchen; removing the paneling from the men’s and women’s bathrooms; HEPA vacuuming all surfaces; and wiping all surfaces with germicide.

Air scrubbers will be used while the work is being done, and after the work is finished, clearance testing also be conducted.

What’s next?

Johnson and Village Trustee Annie Schieber wondered about plans for the basement after it has been cleaned.

Village trustee Mark Halpin agreed that the basement should have a plan.

“We cannot let it sit there after it is cleaned. We need to have a plan for it,” he said.

Scott Gunnufson, village president, suggested including the municipal building basement in the 2014 budget to earmark funds for making it a functional space.

The Colfax Village Board voted six to one in favor of accepting the bid of $16,710 from Air MD out of Mondovi.

Gunnufson, Johnson, Schieber, Halpin, Susan Olson, and Mike Buchner voted in favor of the motion.

Village Trustee Beverly Schauer voted against the motion.

Other business

In other business, the Colfax Village Board:

• Approved a variance request for Jane Dobbs to build a deck at 510 Maple Street. The variance was required because the deck will closer to the lot line than ten feet.

• Approved a training request for Rand Bates, director of public works, and Don Logslett, street supervisor, to attend the WRWA Outdoor Expo on August 22 in Plover.

• Approved a training request for Don Knutson, director of the Colfax Rescue Squad, to attend a workshop on skills for managers and supervisor training September 26 in Eau Claire.

• Approved a training request for Jackie Ponto, village administrator-clerk-treasurer, and Sheila Riemer, deputy clerk, to attend the municipal treasurers association fall conference on September 26 in Wauwatosa.

• Approved waiving the rental fee for the Colfax Commercial Club to use the Colfax Municipal Building auditorium on August 6 for the town hall meeting to recruit volunteers for the sesquicentennial celebration in July of 2014.

• Approved waiving the rental fee for Colfax Fairgrounds for the Colfax Firemen’s Ball on September 7 and 8 for the chicken dinner and the auction.

• Approved a bartender operator’s license for Andrea Wendt from July 1, 2013, to June 30, 2014.

• Approved a kennel license for JoAnn Mayfield, 204 Viking Drive, to keep five dogs. Residents in Colfax are allowed to keep three dogs or three cats or a combined total of six dogs or cats without a kennel license. Mayfield’s husband recently passed away, and she inherited his two dogs in addition to her own three dogs, Ponto told the village board.

• Approved a temporary Class “B” retailer’s license for the Colfax firefighters for the firemen’s ball at the Colfax Fairgrounds on September 7 and 8. The license is for all of the fairgrounds until 8 p.m. and then for the beer garden after that.

• Approved a street use permit for Leona Ubbelohde, 605 East Railroad Avenue, for an auction on September 14 from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

• Approved the Anderson Bridges erosion control plan as recommended by the Colfax Plan Commission.

• Approved hiring Riemer Construction to repair the pump houses at a cost of $7,830.

• Approved paying Lane Tank in the amount of $95,675 for work on the water tower pending approval of the payment request by Ayres Associates.

• Appointed the Colfax Commercial Club to plan the sesquicentennial celebration July 17 through July 20, 2014.