Payment disputed for arena asbestos removal
By Kevin Boneske
ASHWAUBENON – A company called for asbestos removal from the site of the former Brown County Veterans Memorial Arena after the building had been demolished is seeking more than $300,000 it claims it is owed by the village.
Alex Balestrieri, project manager of Balestrieri Environmental in Elkhorn, appeared Tuesday, Sept. 24, before the Ashwaubenon village board to ask when the company will be paid.
“You guys contracted us to do emergency cleanup regarding some asbestos abatement that had been missed by your initial inspection on the Brown County Arena,” he said. “During that time, we knew the quantities of three issues. We knew the quantities for the glue adhesive in the ceiling of the arena, we knew the quantity for the vermiculite in a brick block wall and we knew the quantity for another block wall that had mastic. However, in your initial inspection report, there was mastic missed by your inspector.”
As a result of building material containing asbestos not being found in the inspection, Balestrieri said the demolition contractor, Veit, ended up demolishing some of the concrete rubble with asbestos into where the basement of the former Packers Hall of Fame was located.
“We were then asked to come and remove it,” he said. “The only issue is we couldn’t quantify it.”
In the information Balestrieri provided, he noted the disposal rate for asbestos removal was calculated at $150 per cubic yard, the contracted price.
To determine how much the company should be paid, Balestrieri said that was based on the tonnage brought to the landfill and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency volume-to-weight standards for construction and demolition materials.
“We then did the math to figure out that we had roughly 1,640 yards, due to the fact that we knew about 85 percent of it was concrete and the other 15 percent of it was extra debris because it’s demolition,” he said.
Balestrieri said he was contacted Aug. 23 by Village Manager Allison Swanson, who disputed the amount of the material hauled away by saying the amount was about half of what the company claimed.
“Your documentation currently shows the invoice amount of 1,640 yards far exceeds what was actually disposed of based on manifests and trucks used,” Swanson stated to Balestrieri in an email message. “As a result, I am unable to pay the invoice provided (for $319,592).”
Balestrieri responded Aug. 27 in an email where he stated how he came up with a charge of $260,850, based on 47 truckloads of 37 cubic yards totaling 1,739 cubic yards for the actual truck volume.
However, Balestrieri also noted the amount included in the original invoice, $246,000, was based on calculating 84 percent of the material removed was concrete debris coated with asbestos for a total of 1,640 cubic yards.
“As you can see, we charged you based on what we thought was fair,” he said. “If you would like us to re-invoice based on the actual truck’s volume we can do that at $260,850.”
The invoice included in the information Balestrieri provided seeks a total payment of $341,795, which includes the $260,850 figure for 1,739 tons and also an interest fee for September of more than $5,000.
“All I’m here to do today is ask when we are going to get paid, because we do not want to take this any further than it already has,” he said.
A letter from the law firm representing Balestrieri provided to the board stated the firm would proceed with legal action if the company wasn’t paid.
Because Balestrieri appeared before the board during the public comment period limited to items not on the agenda, board members took no action and had no comment in response to his request for payment.
When contacted following the board meeting, Swanson said the village continues to have discussions with the company regarding the asbestos removal.
“We have expressed our willingness to pay the bill based upon accurate and known information,” she said.
“However, they are converting the actual tonnage to cubic yards based upon an estimated conversion factor. This results in more cubic yards than what could be hauled in the 47 dump trucks used to haul the materials. Their bill appears to be double what it actually should be, which is why we are refusing to pay the full invoice.”