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Courthouse reopens after closure for odor, particulates


People read closure notices at the courthouse, which was suddenly closed for cleanup purposes after an unknown odor was detected. Photo by Cody Mann

County officials said Friday that the final stage of office space cleaning was underway at the Tillamook County Courthouse. The HVAC systems cleaning was concluded Wednesday.

Cody Mann
[email protected]

A statement from the Tillamook County Board of Commissioners said the need for the cleaning was precipitated by air testing results that documented levels of particulates in top floor courthouse office spaces that are above the Environmental Protection Agency’s recommended levels.

The statement said in collaboration with the Tillamook Fire District, Tillamook County Sheriff’s Office, and Alpha Environmental, the County is taking all necessary precautions and following the recommended steps to ensure the courthouse is safe before reopening.

The courthouse reopened at 8 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 18.

“We look forward to resuming full operations and serving the community,” the commissioners’ statement said, following with apologies for any inconvenience the closure of the courthouse this week may have caused.

“The safety of the individuals who work at or have business at the courthouse is our main concern,” the statement said.

Air testing results were released Wednesday, Nov. 13, after the courthouse was suddenly closed Nov. 8. The testing was done by Alpha Environmental Services, Inc. of Beaverton.

The results showed levels of particulates in office spaces located in the top floor of the courthouse that are above the Environmental Protection Agency’s recommended levels, according to a statement from the commissioners. Particulates can induce eye, nose and throat irritation and respiratory infections.

The results do not show the origin, but county officials have reason to believe in the presence of the odor originated from recent roofing repairs. Fumes presumably entered the office spaces through an HVAC system on the roof that services those spaces. The odor dissipated but the particulates remained, according to a previous statement from the commissioners.

Property tax payments are due Nov. 15. Citizens are encouraged to mail payments, but for every business day the County courthouse is closed, the County will extend the payment deadline by one business day.

The Tillamook County Assessor/Tax Collector issued a statement offering apologies for inconveniences caused by the closure, despite it being beyond the office’s control. The statement said the safety xof individuals is who frequent the building in the main concern.

Those with questions about tax statements were encouraged to pay the amount on the statement and speak with the appraiser for the area when courthouse operations resume. Until the courthouse reopens to the public, tax payments can be mailed, paid by phone, or paid online at www.co.tillamook.or.us.

Tillamook County Circuit Court has set up limited operations at the Officer’s Mess Hall at the Port of Tillamook Bay. Michele Bradley, general manager for Port of Tillamook Bay, said her organization was happy to be able to provide space to the Tillamook County Circuit Court during the courthouse closure.

“The transition process has been collaborative by both Tillamook County staff and Port staff to make sure all of the needs are met,” Bradley said. “An event such as this highlights the need for continued discussions for emergency planning with businesses, cities, Tillamook County, smaller unincorporated communities, and other agencies, including local special districts.”

Tillamook Circuit Court reported that it was open for operations all week at the Port of Tillamook Bay’s Officer Mess Hall. The court has limited its normal docket to essential hearings in a single courtroom. Court officials released a statement expressing gratitude to the Port of Tillamook Bay and its director Michelle Bradley for all of the assistance this week.



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