Deadline given for Case Feed debris
The city on Aug. 31 tore down the historic building at 922 Rockport Road. Officials said they were forced to do so after the owner over a year’s time missed two deadlines to repair the building.
During that time, staff worked with two potential buyers who either could not get the financing or could not create a viable financial plan.
K. Andreah Briarmoon, the real estate agent for the owner, North American Group of Companies in Madison, has said the city should have given the company more notice before taking it down so the company could salvage the materials.
Briarmoon presented the city with a request to appeal the decision to dump the materials in the landfill.
The Janesville Zoning Board of Appeals will consider the appeal at a Tuesday, Sept. 28, meeting.
Nadeem Syed, the agent for the company, could not be reached by the Gazette for comment.
Gale Price of the community development department said the city sent a letter notifying North American Group of Companies that it has three days to answer in writing and then five days to complete the salvage work. The letter was to be hand-delivered to Syed by a police officer, Price said.
The city had been considering moving the material to a site at the landfill, where the owner could salvage it. The city, though, was asked to put the bricks on pallets so they would not be damaged by the move.
Officials decided to allow Syed to salvage material from the site but only if he hires a licensed contractor, Price said.
“It’s about safety and liability,” Price said. “The biggest concern for us is that they should not have volunteers on the property trying to do salvage work. Volunteers don’t typically have understanding of the safety aspects of a construction site.”
The city also must receive a waiver of liability signed by Syed and the contractor.
If Syed doesn’t respond to the city letter, city workers will move the material to a site at the landfill. Syed will be allowed to salvage material there if the board of appeals rules in his favor, according to the letter.
Briarmoon has said the bricks are worth as much as $5 each.
Ron Sutterlin, who owns a Janesville restoration company, said Syed would be lucky to get $1 for each brick, and that is after the bricks are cleaned and if the seller can find a buyer. Sutterlin said he doesn’t believe it would be worth the time.
The bricks are painted with lead paint, which is also a safety issue, Price said.
The owner had plenty of warning that the city was going to tear down the building, Price said.
“They really gave up their right to any salvage material, according to the city attorney,” Price said.
Some residents also have questioned whether asbestos was correctly removed from the building before it was torn down.
Price said the city hired Scott Enterprises of Hartford, a certified asbestos-remover, to remove according to state Department of Natural Resources requirements the tiles, windows and wallboard that contained asbestos and to remove asbestos-wrapped pipe.