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Fiscal Court sets tax rate; receives results of jail environment, air quality study

Nelson Fiscal Court met Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2021 via Zoom for a special meeting and tax rate public hearing.

NC GAZETTE / WBRT RADIO
STAFF REPORT

Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2021 — At a special-called Zoom meeting Tuesday morning, Nelson Fiscal Court held first reading on 2022 tax rate, which leaves the rate the same as the 2021 tax rates.

The 2021 rate was 13.9 per $100 value for real estate. Judge Executive Dean Watts noted that leaving the rate the same will net the county an additional 4 percent in new tax revenue, which will help cover the rising costs of equipment, supplies and salaries.

The court will advertise to hold the second reading and final adoption of the proposed tax rate on Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2021.

Property owners whose assessments have not changed will pay the same property tax to the county as they did last year.

JAIL AIR QUALITY REPORT. Representatives from Environmental Health Management reviewed The results of their study of the environment inside the Nelson County Jail with Nelson Fiscal Court.

Their study checked both air quality and the presence of mold or other issues.

The company’s Aug 6th survey of building included samples from 30 rooms total. Where stains or possible mold growth was visible, the company took surface samples.

Overall, their conclusion was the air quality is the jail was good, with less mold and fungi in the jail air than present in the outside air.

Some mold growth was found, mostly due to condensation from the HVAC system or from showers. Some ceiling tiles showed mold growth and should be replaced, the report found.

The report noted several areas affected by moisture that should be addressed, including an area in the hallway between Cells 207 and 210, where insulation had fallen from the HVAC ductwork and condensation had dripped on the ceiling tiles below and caused mold growth.

A slow water leak at a hot water heater in the mechanical also created additional moisture. An exterior wall and the ceiling in Cell 210 showed signs of water intrusion, possible from the roof. The report recommends investigating the cause and repairing the problem.

HUMIDITY HIGH. The report notes that at greater than 60 percent,, the humidity levels in the jail were higher than the recommend comfort levels in several areas due most likely to their proximity to the showers. The report suggests better ventiation or drying the areas and prompt removal of wet towels to address the problem.

County engineer Brad Spalding said maintenance crews have already addressed some of the issues highlighted in the report, including missing ductwork insulation and replacement of ceiling tiles.

Spalding has already asked a roofing company to come inspect the roof for possible leak issues, he told the court.

Doug Peters of Environmental Health Management said that once moisture probelms are reduced, most mold issues can be addressed by cleaning affected areas when staining returns.

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