APS OKs $94K asbestos plan

ALPENA — The Alpena Public Schools Board of Education approved a new asbestos management plan on Monday.

The board approved a $93,885 bid from Nova Environmental Inc., which includes a comprehensive asbestos management plan, district site inspections, recommendations for management, warning labels and signage placements, and more.

The bid also includes staff training, establishment of a notification schedule, response actions, an operations and maintenance protocol, and a vendor qualification program.

Mary Lyon, associate superintendent for business and operations, said on Monday Nova Environmental does not have to complete everything on its list of services this budget year. It was recommended to the district that the entire list be approved so pieces can be completed at different times.

The district has to complete an asbestos inspection at the high school, implement warning labels and signage, complete training protocol for all staff, and have a notifications protocol in place by June. That totals $16,785 from this year’s budget.

Superintendent John VanWagoner said the district knows that some money will have to be set aside next budget year to complete what the board approved on Monday.

“Hopefully, in the next budget year, we’re able to complete those things,” VanWagoner said. “Our hope is by the end of the summer, before school starts next year, that we have full management plans and identification of asbestos and all those things.”

VanWagoner said that, since the district’s comprehensive asbestos plan hasn’t been updated since the 1990s, it was time to be updated.

“We want to do this and we want to do this right,” VanWagoner said. “We want to make sure that everything’s labeled, everything is current and up-to-date and all the paperwork is in one spot. It’s due to be done across the district.”

The district decided to update its asbestos plan after a contractor working at Alpena High School in August in the new Mechatronics & Amp Up course room sanded the floor tile without authorization from the district. Officials halted work immediately and arranged for Hernick Environmental to take air and dust samples to determine if there was any contamination.

Asbestos was found in the dust samples, requiring abatement by industrial hygienists.

Julie Goldberg can be reached at 989-358-5688 or jgoldberg@thealpenanews.com. Follow her on Twitter @jkgoldberg12.