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By Jay Mullen

The Whitehall Municipal Center, which the town, village, court and police offices call home, is in the process of being cleaned up after recent storms caused damages to the building.

Mayor Phil Smith said the village offices were “pretty much destroyed” after the storms rolled through last Monday. Cleaning crews have been in the building trying to dry things out.

There are fans all over the place inside the municipal center, and Smith said they are pretty loud.

“You can’t hear yourself think down in the village office right now because of all the fans going trying to dry things out,” he said.

Records that were in cardboard boxes for storage were soaking wet and the village had to figure out how they were going to preserve them.

Mayor Phil Smith

The village has been working with Washington County to send these records off-site to have them freeze-dried.

“The freeze-drying process is a process to basically dry the water off the documents and get them dried out,” Smith said.

The records that were not damaged have been sorted and put into new boxes by village clerk Stephanie LaChapelle. Smith was tasked with taking these documents to a separate location for storage.

“I’m right now in the process of hauling (the documents) off-site to another storage location that we have,” he said. “A secure storage location.”

There are still boxes that the village has to go through and see which ones are in need of freeze-drying and which ones are not.

Smith said that it is a work in progress.

The next phase of the cleanup process entails drilling holes into some of the walls in the building to get air into the walls and dry them out. The hope is to eliminate the possibility of mold building up within the building.

Smith hopes to have the offices at least partially open by the middle of next week.

“I’m hopeful that we can at least reopen the office by the middle of next week, even if on a limited basis,” he said.

Smith said that he has seen major progress in the cleanup efforts.

If you drive through Whitehall you would be able to tell that something happened, but Smith is pleased with the progress that has been made.

“I think the progress has been amazing. Especially with all of the trees and debris all over the town,” he said. “That’s been mostly cleaned up.”

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