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Asbestos in Massachusetts Famed Nightclub Town Aims to Foreclose

According to a recent news feature from Mass Live, the town of Wilbraham, Massachusetts plans to foreclose on the old Belli’s nightclub, which has been closed for more than 15 years. The building on the site was first constructed in 1920 and has housed various restaurants over the years, but it is most famous to local residents as the site of a nightclub that featured dancing women.

paperworkThe property in its current state is valued at around $190,000, but the current owner owes more than $70,000 in back taxes. The town administrator has announced his desire to proceed with a long rumored foreclosure and tax sale of the property.

However, as Boston mesothelioma attorneys understand, the town cannot sell any property which they know contains friable asbestos, so they must find a way to complete asbestos abatement prior to a sale. The town is looking to complete asbestos abatement and then demolish the crumbling structure and sell the vacant parcel of land in a tax sale.

The first step in this process, according a recent order from the court, is to allow the landowner an additional reasonable opportunity to pay the back taxes, or to have full hearing prior to the town foreclosing upon the property. If he no longer wishes to the fight the foreclosure, or does not have the money to handle the hearing, he has an exclusive right to waive the hearing and allow the town to proceed with the foreclosure and sale.

Once the town has the official go ahead to sell the property at a tax sale, the town officials intend to hold a public hearing to allocate funds for the asbestos abatement process, and this is expected to cost a significant amount of money. However, town officials say they expect whatever buyer wins the tax auction will pay enough for the property to not only satisfy the $70,000 in past due taxes but also to cover the cost of asbestos abatement. After the sale of the property, the town will be repaid fully for all expenses, and any remaining proceeds of the sale will be returned to the current owner of the property, less any fees and administrative costs related to the tax sale.

The reason friable asbestos creates such a concern is because this type of asbestos is capable of being crushed under the pressure of a human hand. It is not generally manufactured as friable asbestos, but over time the asbestos material can break down and become friable. There are, however, certain asbestos products that were manufactured as pure powder to be used in certain types of insulation and even for fake snow in holiday decorations.

Friable asbestos can give off dust every time it is crushed or crumbled, and it is the asbestos dust that people can inhale. The dust particles contain microscopic fibers, which can become embedded in the lung tissue of victims and are virtually impossible to remove or detect. They can tear the tissue, causing a serious and potentially deadly scarring disorder called asbestosis, and they can also metastasize into mesothelioma.

If you or a loved one is diagnosed with mesothelioma in Massachusetts, call for a free and confidential appointment at 1-888-367-2900.

Additional resources:

Wilbraham foreclosing on old Belli’s property on Boston Road, June 8, 2015, Mass Live

More Blog Entries:

Asbestos In City Buildings Poses Risk, August 12, 2014, Boston Mesothelioma Layers Blog