Odor From Bird Droppings Forces County Employees to Move

Pigeon Feces Blamed for Foul Smell in Ector county

ECTOR COUNTY, Texas -- (Local 2/Fox 24) - An odor stemming from pigeon droppings has forced county clerk office employees to relocate, according Ector County Clerk Linda Haney.

Local 2/Fox 24 first told you about the pigeon poop problem last week, which could end up costing the county nearly $30,000 to clean up.

Haney said the smell has gotten so unbearable that 18 employees were evacuated from the County Clerk’s office and relocated to temporary work spaces Wednesday morning.

Most county clerk employees who work at the courthouse have been moved to the county annex building to work out of the commissioner’s courtroom.

Seven courthouse employees who are needed to stay within the courthouse have been moved to other parts of the building. 

As we first reported, the foul smell is coming from leftover bird droppings, which can be found just outside the county clerk's office. It led some employees to call in sick last week, according to people who work in the building.

Chief Deputy County Clerk Jennifer Martin said the uncomfortable conditions have led to some employees calling in sick in recent weeks.

"Watery eyes, massive headaches, rashes, nausea, short term memory issues and extreme fatigue." These are some of the symptoms employees are suffering from said Martin.

"Sometimes it would come in and it would be very strong, other times it would just linger, and the longer it lingered the sicker people were getting."

Wednesday morning a crew of more than 15 men worked to remove ceiling tiles in order to disinfect the air duct system.

The building’s Maintenance Director Octavio Carrillo said the cleaning project which will include a third party cleaning contractor will keep the clerk’s office closed for more than 10 days.

"Whatever it is, we're going to have to find the money to pay it.” Said County Judge Ron Eckert when asked how much the project would cost county tax payers. “Money is not an issue when it comes to employee's safety."

Director of the Cardiopulmonary Department at Medical Center Hospital agrees with Eckert when it comes to relocating the employees.

He said the symptoms employees are experiencing could be an airborne fungal infection.

"Fungus loves moisture, so it's going to grow. So if it doesn't get cleaned and it doesn't get wiped away you're basically keeping that fungal alive."

The County Clerk’s office has been divided between two temporary offices:

Birth, marriage, and death certificates, along with property deeds can be obtained at the courthouse annex located at 1010 East 8th Street in the Commissioners Courtroom.

Criminal, civil, and probate records can be obtained at the courthouse in a room directly across from the original office.

For more information you can contact County Clerk Linda Haney at, 432-498-4130


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