Mold causing major problems at Umatilla police headquarters

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UMATILLA, Fla. - Umatilla police headquarters in Lake County is under attack by mold and mildew.

The building sits along State Road 19 down the street from City Hall.

On Monday, officials told Channel 9 nobody has gotten sick, but employees and visitors alike can smell the mold.

"We all smelled it," said Chief Adam Bolton. "Our city manager said he smelled something.  Obviously my admin staff smelled something as well.  We kind of came together and realized there's a problem."

The musty mold and mildew odor can be quite strong in a couple of the rooms where the ceiling tiles are stained.

Officials said they're pretty sure the source of the problem is on the back side of the building, where mold can be found on the concrete block. 

Officials believe some of the water that seeped through leaks in the roof came from next door.

"It's a high warehouse-type building that has been dumping stormwater off the peak of that roof onto the Police Department's building," said city manager Glenn Irby.

Officials first thought they'd have to move the Police Department out for up to three months to remove the mold, but Irby said chemical cleaning, painting and a roof replacement can all be done without evacuating the building.

"There's very little drywall in there," said Irby. "Mold has to have a food source, and it doesn't have it in that building."