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Queensbury school officials: Concrete solid, no ripoff occurred

2012-03-17T10:00:00Z Queensbury school officials: Concrete solid, no ripoff occurredDON LEHMAN - dlehman@poststar.com Glens Falls Post-Star
March 17, 2012 10:00 am  • 

QUEENSBURY -- School officials have concluded they were not the victims of a crime in the alleged diversion of concrete from a school construction project in 2010.

School officials have also been told that concrete said to have been contaminated with waste fuel was not used in the work on the local campus, said school Superintendent Douglas Huntley.

Instead, it appears at least some of the contaminated concrete went to the Main Street reconstruction project that was completed last year, officials said. A call to the Warren County Department of Public Works, which oversaw the project, was not returned Friday afternoon.

In another development in the case, someone has posted on the website YouTube at least nine audio and video clips of conversations said to be among Glens Falls Ready Mix employees, discussing various indiscretions involving concrete mixing and deliveries.

The clips are mainly audio files, but have subtitles and photos of documents posted with them. They were posted in late February and earlier this month by a person using the account name “JoeyWhistleblower.”

The state Department of Environmental Conservation has been investigating since the summer of 2010 whether waste materials were disposed of in concrete mixes, and conservation officers and Warren County sheriff’s officers searched the Glens Falls Ready Mix plant on Oct. 19, 2010.

A DEC official said in February that the investigation was ongoing. Agency spokesman David Winchell said Friday “there is no update” on the case.

Huntley said Thursday the school determined it was not victimized in a scheme alleged by a then-employee of Glens Falls Ready Mix. He claimed a concrete delivery supposed to go to the school instead went to a Moreau home being built for an executive of a subcontractor on the school project.

It does not appear a crime was committed because the school did not contract for a specific number of concrete deliveries, just to get the entire job done by a certain time and at a certain price, Huntley explained.

“It really has no consequences for Queensbury as long as the job gets done within the job specifications and within the bid price,” he said.

While there were initially concerns that concrete contaminated with diesel fuel was used in the school project, it was determined none was, Huntley said. And even if it was, the DEC concluded the material would not affect the strength or durability of the concrete, Huntley said.

Only one small batch that might have been contaminated was used inside a building, in the basement of Queensbury Middle School, according to Huntley. That concrete was checked and no odors of fuel or other environmental issues were noted, he said.

The concrete in the school project has been in place for nearly two years and has not shown any issues with deterioration, Huntley said.

Huntley said school officials have been made aware of the YouTube clips.

Glens Falls Ready Mix is a subsidiary of Cranesville Block Co. of Amsterdam, and numerous messages left with the company, including one Friday, have not been returned since 2010.

Copyright 2015 Glens Falls Post-Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(5) Comments

  1. Joey Whistleblower
    Report Abuse
    Joey Whistleblower - March 21, 2012 3:25 pm
    An unreported diesel fuel leak occurred from diesel fuel tank(s). The secondary containment failed and leaked into a nearby pit below conveyor belt, which is entry way to tunnel under outside stone and sand bins. Material that fell off belt for years was contaminated. In August 2010 while building a staircase to avoid a OSHA classification of confined space, material was removed by running it up the belt into the plant. The union shop steward was reported as suggesting dumping the material in their own backyard. However, it was reported that a member of the family that owns the company decided to get rid of the contaminated
    material in loads it was selling to it's customers as "quality" concrete. Although employees reported the smell of diesel fuel in truckloads, management continued to deliver.
  2. Joey Whistleblower
    Report Abuse
    Joey Whistleblower - March 21, 2012 2:46 pm
    Thank you.
    An unreported diesel fuel spill occurred which leaked from diesel fuel tank(s)over an unknown time period. The secondary containment failed as well. The fuel leaked into a nearby pit below the conveyor belt, an area which was an entrance to a tunnel under outside sand and stone bins. Sand and stone that had fallen off belt over years was contaminated. When building a new staircase into the pit, to avoid a OSHA classification of confined space, it was determined the easiest way to remove the material was up the conveyor belt and into the plant. At this point it is reported the union shop steward suggested just dumping the material in the yard. However, a member of the family who owns the company decided to get rid of the material in loads it was selling to customers. Although employees reported the diesel smell in truckloads of concrete, management continued to deliver it's waste to it's customers, selling it as "quality" concrete.
  3. Idoknow
    Report Abuse
    Idoknow - March 17, 2012 9:31 pm
    Is it my imagination, that it seems like thieving happens when public servants are involved?

    If you see something, Say something. WAY TO GO JOE!
  4. theMaven
    Report Abuse
    theMaven - March 17, 2012 11:41 am
    And the sheriffs and DEC have been investigating this for almost 2 years?
    They couldn't find a profusion of 55 gallon drums right where they were looking.
    Meanwhile, build that ugly monstrosity of Main Street, and who knows how many private jobs?
    Mr Huntly assures us everything is all right, as concrete has not broken down in 2 years, quite the mason and environmentalist.
    Any with all the cops and environmental types, someone named Joe Whistleblower is the only one who can come up with real evidence?
    OK, What is wrong with this picture?
  5. LUZERNEMTN
    Report Abuse
    LUZERNEMTN - March 17, 2012 11:12 am
    Another example of a state contract being fleeced. Who is checking if a few dozen truck loads of cement get diverted in the grand scheme of large projects like these? No one! I am sure the cement is just the icing of what "gets lost or falls off the truck".

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