The Pitkin County Courthouse Plaza will remain closed to the public until Monday as crews work to seal off and clean up several small traces of asbestos in the building.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, Grand River Environmental out of Grand Junction took samples throughout the building and found no airborne asbestos. However, the company did locate traces of asbestos in the Human Resources area on the second floor and two areas in the basement of the building.
“It appears the traces found were caused by some painting done several months ago,” said county spokeswoman Pat Bingham. “The asbestos found were very small traces in some dust. The important thing is there is no airborne asbestos.”
The tests were confirmed by a representative from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. ECOS Environmental and Disaster Restoration, Inc., out of Glenwood Springs, will seal off the areas today where asbestos was found and remove it. Once the areas are sealed off, county employees will be allowed back in the building. Bingham said county employees will meet on Friday for updates and to discuss the situation.
“We could probably open the building sooner, but we’re going to take extra caution,” Bingham said. “Since we have this opportunity, we’re also going to have the building professionally cleaned.”
A total of 64 employees work in the nearly 40 year old Courthouse Plaza building, which houses the Clerk and Recorder’s Office, Housing Office, County Finance, Open Space and Trails, Human Resources, Information Technology, County Manager and County Attorney’s offices. The Pitkin County Board of Commissioners’ meeting room also is located on the ground floor of the building.
Most county employees at the Courthouse Plaza have continued to work from other areas. Any employees who were displaced by the asbestos situation and could not continue working are still being paid by the county.
Arrangements have been made to house the Clerk’s mandated recording services in a temporary space at the Pitkin County Treasurer’s office in the Courthouse at 506 E. Main St. in Aspen. The temporary recording office opened Wednesday. The Clerk’s office and the Motor Vehicle and Elections Departments will remain closed until Monday.
All inquiries to the Clerk’s office can be made by calling 970-920-5180. The Housing Authority is being moved temporarily to its main property management office at 18 Truscott Place adjacent to the Aspen Golf Course where walk-in business can be accommodated. The Housing office will operate under its normal business hours. Housing office inquiries also can continue to be made by telephone at 970-920-5050.
Updates will be posted on Pitkin Alert, www.aspenpitkin.com, the County’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pitkincounty, on Twitter and via local media outlets.