July 28, 2016
For immediate release
City staff to temporarily vacate City Hall in light of safety concerns
At the Independence City Commission meeting Thursday evening, the commissioners directed city leaders to begin a process to temporarily relocate staff from City Hall due to health and safety concerns in the building.
The commission acted on the advice of the city’s designated primary care physician, Dr. Charles Empson, and legal counsel responsible for personnel matters, after several employees reported illnesses they believed to be potentially related to their working environment.
Independence Mayor Gary Hogsett explained the relocation of staff is a temporary safety measure to allow a thorough evaluation of the situation.
“We are acting out of an abundance of caution,” said Hogsett. “Our first priority is the safety and well-being of our employees and citizens. While we don’t believe there is immediate danger, in the best interest of all concerned, we have recommended that City Hall be vacated for the time being, until we can determine the next steps to remedy the situation.”
City Manager Micky Webb explained that city department leaders will implement a phased plan to relocate departments to temporary quarters in the former Mercy Hospital building (“Building D”) over the next few weeks.
As the relocation plan develops, Webb said, more detailed information will be shared with the community on how to access city departments, as well as information on the status of the City Hall building. Citizens are encouraged to continue to watch local newspapers and frequently visit the city’s Facebook page – facebook.com/IndependenceKS - and website - independenceks.gov - for developing information.
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