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County health department unhappy with conditions in Towers Building

Ongoing construction at the Towers Building in Steubenville is prompting concerns from the county health department.

Ongoing construction at the Towers Building in Steubenville is prompting concerns from the county health department.

Some administrators say they believe the conditions are unsafe.

“We have debris falling on our heads, on our clients’ heads and pieces of metal falling down. I just am concerned about the safety of our staff and our clients," said one employee.

Over the last few days health department officials have become more frustrated.

There’s dust in the air, on the floor, and on the waiting room chairs outside the office.

"I have infants that are only less than a week old coming up to our WIC Program, I have other children coming up. I’ll have people come up because they see our physician and have a physical done by our doctor on staff here, as well as pregnant moms," the employee said.

Inside, dirty buckets catch water and a television had to be removed from the wall because of water damage. This is all happening where children wait and play.

"Well, I didn’t expect to see all the dusty, dirty conditions and the debris on the floor falling from the ceilings,” the employee said. “I thought that they were gonna work on the one part of the health department and we all moved over here to the nursing and WIC Division, but it’s actually coming up the hallway where we are situated also."

These issues were brought to light after concerns about the health department itself were raised at a county commissioner’s meeting on Nov. 21.

Commission Tom Gentile said the health department posted a sign on its door the week of Thanksgiving, saying it would be closed for the holiday and because of construction.

“They never really notified us that there is a problem,” Gentile said. “All of the sudden, now that I questioned things, there’s all these problems. They never really notified us, they never really came to a meeting and said look, we have a problem, can you work on this, can you work on that, because we’ve taken every step to accommodate them. We’ve even moved them from one side of the floor to another side to the floor. We’ve done everything we could to accommodate them."

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