Bluffs postal workers steamed about hot temps


August 5th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Some employees at the Post Office in Council Bluffs are steamed over their working conditions. They contend building officials were purposely turning off the air conditioning during the hottest part of the day, but building maintenance officials say that’s not the case.

Cindy Martinez, acting Postmaster for Council Bluffs says the heating and cooling system in the facility…located at 8 South 6th Street…is at least 50-years old, and is in need of a major repair or replacement. Building maintenance official James Califf told the Omaha World-Herald there were a couple of incidences when it got uncomfortably humid, but those problems were corrected within 24-hours. Another reason the building could be hot, according to owner Michael Kim, in Seattle, is that the dock area remains open to the heat during the day.

Califf said the air conditioning is turned-off in the evening, and not restarted until the first crews arrive at 2-a.m. The recent heat and humidity wave he says, means the building takes longer to cool after the system is turned-off. Workers say they don’t like entering the hot and humid environment.

One worker said it becomes noticeably hot and humid in the building between 3-and 3:30-p.m.. Other workers say patrons of the Post Office have also mentioned the uncomfortable conditions they encounter, in the lobby.

A heating and cooling contract associated with the building, says it is to be cooled to the mid-70’s. Califf says daily records show the warmest it has been inside the facility, is 80-degrees.