The City of Homestead’s City Hall is relocating to Portofino Plaza at 650 NE 22 Terrace Homestead, FL 33030. City Hall offices will be open for business on Monday, February 11, 2013 at the Portofino Plaza location. Additionally, effective February 1st all public meetings that were previously held in City Hall will be held at the William F. “Bill” Dickinson Community Center, 1601 N. Krome Avenue Homestead, FL 33030. Public meetings include: City Council meetings, Committee of the Whole, Community Redevelopment Agency, Planning & Zoning Board, Special Master Hearing and all city committees.
The decision to move puts the safety of City Hall personnel and visitors first. After tests of the existing City Hall determined high levels of radon, mold, and asbestos throughout the structure, the Council voted to relocate operations until a permanent facility is constructed downtown. Radon, the greatest threat, is a colorless, odorless, radioactive gas that is the second leading cause of lung cancer. It enters a building through gaps, cracks, and cavities in the building’s foundation. The inspections recorded levels of radon up to 8.9 pCi/, normal indoor levels should be approximately 1.3 pCi/L and remedial action is recommended where levels exceed 4.0 pCi/L.
Inspections also found visible water damage and fungal contamination throughout the facility on the ceilings, walls, floor boards, wallpaper, tiles and carpet. Mold can trigger toxic effects, infections, asthma, and allergic illnesses. In addition to radon and mold contamination, asbestos was found in the ceiling texture and flexible ducts throughout the building, which is associated with the following health effects: lung cancer, asbestosis, and mesothelioma.
While plans are being made to build a permanent City Hall on Washington Avenue in Downtown Homestead, City staff will call the Portofino Plaza location home for now. Last week, the city released an RFP for the construction of the new building. More information is available at the city website at www.cityofhomestead.com
If you are concerned about the indoor air quality of your home, call a local home inspector to see if radon, mold, or asbestos are present. Home improvement stores also offer do-it-yourself home test kits. For more information on indoor environmental concerns, visit: www.epa.gov/iaq