POINT PLEASANT — It’s amazing what a little soap and water will do.
At this week’s meeting of Point Pleasant City Council, a discussion on the flood wall murals was had, specifically about the mystery growth which has appeared on them over the last few months.
Mayor Brian Billings said workers from the street department have been cleaning the murals with a specific mix of soap and water and it appears to be working, on the surface at least.
Street Commissioner Randy Hall said it was “so far, so good” in terms of the mix cleaning what can be seen but there’s still a question about what was actually accumulating on the murals and how to prevent it from returning.
“We don’t know what it is,” Billings told council, adding a staff member from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was to take a sample of it to be analyzed before proceeding with a more permanent fix than soap and water.
Hall said in observing the cleaning of the murals, the mystery growth seemed to be an air contaminant as opposed to mold, in his opinion. Hall added the cleaning had taken place from 5th Street to the restroom facilities and he hoped the rest of the flood wall could be done within a week.
As reported last month, the growth has been appearing at the top of the flood wall and is black in nature. When it rains, the residue streaks down the murals which cost around $800,000 to place at Riverfront Park.
Main Street Point Pleasant Director Charles Humphreys said the artist who painted the murals, Robert Dafford, was called about the situation and he advised washing the stains/growth with soap and water. It’s unclear if using bleach or anything harsher, could harm the murals and no one wants to take that chance.
The murals, a project which began in 2005 and was completed over five subsequent summers, have become a tourist attraction in downtown Point Pleasant. The paint, which at the time cost $200 a gallon, came from Germany and had a 50-year guarantee though it was proven to last 150 years, Humphreys said.
Reach Beth Sergent at [email protected] or on Twitter @BSergentWrites.