"Mold" fund created | NevadaAppeal.com

"Mold" fund created

Geoff Dornan, Appeal Capitol Bureau

Legislators put $250,000 into a fund to handle a growing number of complaints about mold and other indoor air-quality problems in Nevada state offices.

Risk Manager Sue Dunt told lawmakers increasing awareness of health problems caused by mold have fueled a dramatic increase in the number of complaints coming to her office, public works and the state’s buildings and grounds division.

Complaints went from three or four a couple of years ago to 25 this past year, she said.

Dunt said her office, Buildings and Grounds and the Public Works board are developing long-term plans for handling air quality and mold-related problems.

She said the biggest problem isn’t the number of complaints. It’s the lag between discovery of a problem and the work to fix it. She said a class action lawsuit filed by Southern Nevada state workers is an example.

“Their big frustration was that we were not able to get in there immediately and fix the problems,” she said.

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“Our immediate need is to have money available to fix these problems,” she said.

Not fixing the problems exposes the state to potential liability, she said.

Even when it’s a leased building, ultimately the responsibility of the landlord, she said the state sometimes has to fix the problem.

“We have a responsibility to go ahead and deal with the health issues,” she said.

Lawmakers approved the money transfer to create an indoor air quality fund totaling $250,000.