Southland District Council closed its Winton area office and library at 5pm today after testing confirmed the presence of airborne mould spores and fungal contamination.
Following recent testing, a report received today recommended closing the library and office while further investigations are carried out.
“The safety of customers and staff is our absolute priority – hence this decision was made as soon as the results of the testing were received,” chief executive Steve Ruru said.
“We are working through options but will be aiming to relocate the library and SDC office temporarily to another site as soon as possible.”
It is not yet known how long the library will remain closed as this will be dependent on further results.
“We need to carry out a detailed examination of the building to find out how bad the contamination is and also establish whether asbestos is present,” Mr Ruru said.
“This can be done only when the building is closed to the public, due to the potential for contamination when the mould is disturbed.
“We understand the closure and relocation will cause disruptions for our customers and we will keep the public informed of further developments as they happen.”
Southland District Council is looking for an alternative site in Winton to enable rates payments and dog registrations to be processed.