We wanted to provide this statement from the contractor in response to Robert Hayes’ article dated September 19, 2017.
Langone Development Group, Inc. completed the paperwork for a demolition permit and a new building permit at 13 Muse Ave. on Aug. 9. We received our demolition permit before we began any demolition work. The town permit process did not require an asbestos survey. Nor did any of the permit paperwork refer to one. If the town had referred to or required one, we would have done one.
You cannot tell that siding has asbestos by simply looking at it. We did not know it was there.
We were unaware that the house at 13 Muse Ave. had asbestos siding until the DEP showed up on the site on Aug. 29. Once we were informed of the risk, we did everything the DEP and Wilmington Board of Health asked us to do on the site. We have cooperated fully to rid the site of any contamination and to clean up the area.
By contrast, the neighbors informed the Town of their concerns about asbestos in the home a week before demolition began. Unfortunately, the Town did not share this information with us. Had we known there was asbestos, we would have engaged an asbestos abatement company before starting demolition. We would not allow our workers to take down a house with asbestos without proper protective gear, nor work in a way that creates angst among the neighbors.
Despite not intentionally violating any regulation, and promptly and completely cooperating with all DEP direction, we are now faced with a situation where the town is attempting to prevent us from working in town.
We are a local business, employing local employees. Our family has lived in Wilmington for four generations and we have done business here since 2006.
We love our town and we would never do anything to hurt the town or our neighbors. We have reached out to the neighbors and have had conversations with several of them. In fact, some of the neighbors have asked for our assistance in changing the process in town. Instead of pointing fingers, we should all be working together to clarify the permitting process to avoid something like this happening in the future.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Susan Shelby for Langone Development Group
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