Employees told to leave old Bastrop County Jail over asbestos concerns

Providers. 2-ROBERT: Employees HAVE BEEN REMOVED FROM BASTROP COUNTY’S OLD JAIL AMID “HEALTH AND SAFETY CONCERNS”. THAT’S AFTER ASBESOS WAS DISCOVERED. 2-SYDNEY: KXAN INVESTIGATOR KYLIE MCGIVERN SPENT THE DAY WORKING TO GET TO THE BOTTOM OF WHAT HAPPENED … … AND JOINS US LIVE WITH WHAT SHE’S FOUND. SYDNEY AND ROBERT — THIS ALL STARTED WITH A TIP WE RECEIVED THIS MORNING — SAYING THE BUILDING WAS SHUT DOWN YESTERDAY.COUNTY EMPLOYEES — WERE NEVER WARNED ABOUT ASBESTOS IN THE PLASTER ON THE WALLS.JUDGE PAUL PAPE SAYS CONCERNS CROPPED UP BACK IN AUGUST. AFTER HURRICANE HARVEY WHEN HE SAID THE STORM SHOOK THE BUILDING’S FOUNDATION.TESTING — WASN’T DONE UNTIL JANUARY. AND THE RESULT CAME BACK YESTERDAY MORNING — SHOWING THE PRESENCE OF ASBESTOS. KM: “IS THERE A REASON WHY YOU DIDN’T MOVE EMPLOYEES SOONER, AS THAT TESTING WAS BEING DONE AND YOU WERE WAITING FOR THE RESULTS? “THE REASON WE DIDN’T MOVE THEM SOONER IS WE DIDN’T HAVE ANY REASON TO MOVE THEM. WHEN FEMA FIRST CAME AND SAID IT SMELLS MOLDY IN HERE, WE ASKED THE EMPLOYEES AT THAT TIME IF THAT’S A PROBLEM FOR THEM.AND NO ONE EXPRESSED TO ME THAT THEY WERE ILL OR NOT ABLE TO DO THEIR WORK.” THIS BUILDING HOUSES THE COUNTY’S INDIGENT PROGRAM — THIS IS ALSO WHERE THE GRAND JURY CONVENES. THE PUBLIC, COMING IN AND OUT EVERY DAY. THE JUDGE PAPE SAYS THERE ARE NO PLANS TO TEST EVERY COUNTY BUILDING FOR ASBESTOS — BECAUSE THERE ISN’T THE FUNDING. “ONLY WHEN WE BECOME AWARE OF AN ISSUE DO WE DEAL WITH IT…KM: “RATHER THAN BEING MORE PROACTIVE THOUGH? ” “WELL, WHERE WOULD YOU START LOOKING FOR TROUBLE? “SETTING UP REPLACEMENT OFFICESOPEN FOR BUSINESS TUESDAY, FEB. 20 ADMINISTRATIVE LEAVE UNTIL THEN DO WHAT THEY CAN FROM HOME 9 PEOPLE WORKING IN THE BUILDINGNON UNLIKE OUR INVESTIGATION INTO BUILDINGS IN AUSTIN — WHERE THE CITY HAS SINCE OVERHAULED ITS POLICIES … HERE IN BASTROP COUNTY…IN CONTACT WITH HR TO MAKE SURE THE EMPLOYEES CAN GET A PHYSICAL EXAM IMMEDIATELY SYDNEY, BACK TO YOU. SYDNEY: Investigators NEVER FOUND EVIDENCE OF ASBESTOS EXPOSURE AT THE AUSTIN MUNICIPAL COURT … BUT THEY Ascertain A HOST OF OTHER SAFETY CONCERNS. AND TOMORROW THE CITY COUNCIL IS EXPECTED TO VOTE ON A RESOLUTION THAT WOULD Address THE CITY MANAGER TO FIND SITES FOR RELOCATION.ROBERT: ALSO ON THE AGENDA – A VOTE ON WHETHER TO REQUIRE EMPLOYERS TO PROVIDE PAID SICK DAYS.STATE REPRESENTATIVE PAUL WORKMAN SAYS IF IT PASSES – HE’LL FILE A BILL NEXT SESSION TO STRIP LOCAL GOVERNMENTS OF THAT POWER. SYDNEY: THE COUNCIL WILL NOT BE DISCUSSING POSSIBLE LOCATIONS FOR A MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER STADIUM. THAT RESOLUTION’S BEEN PULLED. CITY STAFF WANTS PRECOURT SPORTS VENTURES TO IDENTIFY WHICH.

AUSTIN MUNICIPAL COURT

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