MULLINS, SC (WMBF) - It's been just over a month since a fire damaged Mullins city hall and city officials still haven't been able to move back into the building.But it's not the damage from last month's fire that's holding things up, it's what that blaze uncovered that's the real problem.
Mullins city officials tell me they were forced to move all city operations into two mobile units after, they say, inspectors discovered asbestos along with heavy smoke and water damage inside city hall.
Mullins city employees are working in close quarters after a nearby fire badly damaged city hall offices.
Mullins city administrator Ken Davis said the state's Municipal Association offered the mobile units to help provide temporary offices for city.
"We're a little tight, but every body's been doing very well," said Davis.
All of the city's operations including the water department and police station are housed in the mobile units.
The units were thought to be a temporary measure, but a new discovery by a DHEC inspector may have city officials looking for a new city hall.
"He did find some asbestos in the building in specific areas, none that was disturbed, but indicated those areas would have to be evaded before we could continue forward," said Davis.
City officials say they've had to compromise by having city council meetings at a local recreation center, and holding court sessions at the Mullins fire department.
"We're sort of scattered to and fro," said Davis.
City officials say they were able to recover a few computer hard drives and servers from city hall.
But right now, they are unable to recover some of their archived paper documents.
"It's just more of an inconvenience paperwork wise than anything else right now," said Davis.
And some people that live in Mullins say the mobile units have caused some confusion.
"It's very inconvenient for us to come back here because a lot of people don't know it's back here, hasn't been informed it's back here, and I hope soon they'll get a better place than what's back here," said Charles Williams who lives in Mullins.
"There's no room in there, four or five people get up in there, it's just too small," said Charles Cooper, another resident of Mullins.
City officials say they are still waiting to hear back from DHEC, to see if they will be able to move back into city hall at all.
They expect an answer sometime next week.