Middletown Borough Hall has been closed since a carbon monoxide incident cause four police officers to be hospitalized on Christmas Eve, and will remain closed until at least Monday, Jan. 7, Chris Courogen, borough secretary and director of communications, confirmed.
A generator that was the cause of the high carbon monoxide levels has been repaired, but some related codes issues are still being addressed, said Courogen.
An investigation is still ongoing into how “a number of checks and balances” that should have prevented the incident failed to do so, he said.
“There were multiple things that should have alerted us that this was a problem, and apparently that message was not passed up the chain, so that’s being investigated,” he said. “How was this a problem that was apparently known to some employees, yet was never relayed to upper management?”
But Mayor Robert Reid said no one should be surprised – the current Borough Council and previous councils knew about the problem, he said.
“That generator has been emitting carbon monoxide for the past 15 years,” he said. “That has been going on for as long as I can remember. This isn’t something new.”
Reid is suggesting that council pay to move the generator outside rather than “nickel and dime” fixes for the generator.
A note on the back door of the borough building instructs residents to use the drop box in the borough parking lot for utility payments or to leave a message for the finance department at 717-902-3010. Payments left in the drop box are being picked up by staff working from other locations, Courogen said.
“Nobody will have any finance penalties or late charges due to the finance office being closed,” he said.
Middletown Police are continuing to operate out of the borough electric building, he said. It has not yet been decided where the council meeting scheduled for Monday, Jan. 7 will be held if the building is still closed, Courogen said.