Schuylerville DPW Employees Work Under Collapsed Roof, Mold-Coated Walls

Take a walk inside Rob Decker's office and you'll see the floor boards coated in black mold and a ceiling stained from leaks. He's worked inside the building at 15 Canal Street in Schuylerville for the last eight years. 

"That same mold has been on that wall; it's just gotten worse," Decker, the Department of Public Works Supervisor, said. 

The roof caved in on the DPW building last year, and in addition to black mold dripping down walls, some of the walls are also crumbling. Decker and his crew have still reported to work every day.

"We're going on eight years, and we still haven't got a roof to stop the leak," he said.

The mayor says they just can't afford to fix it.

"This village has not a lot of money to be out there spending," said the mayor, John Sherman, adding that he doesn't want to go over the state's 2 percent tax cap.

A recent report from Spectrum Environmental Associates is causing the mayor to think about more than the money. The report advises only authorized people with special protection gear to enter the building.

Village Board member Dan Carpenter says this is why he called an emergency meeting on Monday night.

"The board is a little bit uncomfortable with the health risks we see from the mold, and I don't think the mayor sees it as much of a risk as we do," said Carpenter.

The board voted to find a temporary trailer for DPW workers while they look into finding the money to replace the roof and several walls of the building. Decker's happy to see something being done now; he just wishes it happened sooner. 

"Two months ago, some of my employees started getting sick," he said. "One of us was hospitalized, one's still going through a lot of testing and we've got an older gentleman who's been with us for 32 years who seems like he just can't get over a cold."   

As far as Tuesday morning goes, it's trash day, so the DPW workers will be busy. Rob Decker volunteered to be the only one to go inside the building for supplies.

"If I'm sick, I'm sick now; what's another 10 minutes to get equipment out?" said Decker. 

The report by Spectrum Environment didn't include air quality tests, and the mayor says he's calling for one on Tuesday.

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