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Company sues Ashwaubenon for asbestos removal from arena site

By Kevin Boneske
Staff Writer

ASHWAUBENON – A company called in last summer to remove asbestos from where the Brown County Veterans Memorial Arena was demolished filed a lawsuit Feb. 13 in Brown County Circuit Court.

Alex Balestrieri, project manager of Balestrieri Environmental & Development in Elkhorn, appeared last September before the Ashwaubenon village board claiming the company was owed more than $300,000 by the village.

He said the village contracted the company to do an emergency cleanup related to some asbestos abatement missed by the initial inspection of the arena.

As a result of asbestos-containing building material not found in the inspection, Balestrieri said the demolition contractor, Veit, demolished 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 to the board, he noted the disposal rate for that material 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 material hauled away, saying it 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 wrote to Balestrieri in an email message.

Balestrieri responded Aug. 27 in an email in which he stated how he came up with a price to charge 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 was based on calculating 84 percent of the material removed was concrete debris coated with asbestos with the other 16 percent being extra debris loaded in the truck.

A letter from the law firm representing Balestrieri included in the information provided to the board stated the firm would proceed with legal action if the company wasn’t paid.

To date, Swanson said the village has paid the company $35,462.

“Our dispute lies with the disposal of the materials and how they are estimating the quantity of material, which is the remaining amount of the invoice,” she said.

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