By MAX FILBY
Workers hired to paint at Glenwood Middle School in Findlay before it opened in January 2013 have gone unpaid for more than a year.
Joseph Edinger, a parent of one of the four unpaid painters, has spoken out about the issue to try to get his son the $1,365 he claims he’s owed.
Edinger’s son, Joe Edinger, painted a large Trojan mural containing the school’s name over the course of a few months. He said while the money may not seem like a lot, the job impacted his tattoo business, the Tatt Shack on Main Street in Findlay.
“I even had to close up shop to do it, so I wasn’t getting paid from that either while I was there,” Joe Edinger said.
The school district awarded a $10.7 million contract for the Glenwood project to ACI of Alvada, which then subcontracted the painting work to Global Contracting.
Edinger said he has worked with the school district and tried to work with the ACI and Global Contracting to resolve the problem.
Edinger has spoken to outgoing superintendent Dean Wittwer multiple times regarding the issue. He said the district has been helpful.
“I think they genuinely do care though about figuring this out,” Edinger said earlier this month.
Edinger said he has had trouble getting anywhere with officials from ACI and Global. Edinger said he hopes that the companies “clean up the mess” before “handing the mop to the new superintendent in August.”
Earlier this month, Wittwer said he received a letter from ACI stating the company may pursue legal action against Global.
“I think they’re trying to make sure Global follows what a subcontractor is supposed to do,” Wittwer said.
ACI President Richard Kirk and John Kostyo, attorney for ACI, could not be reached for comment on this story.
Although the ordeal has been going on for more than a year, Wittwer said he is still “hopeful and optimistic” that the situation will eventually be worked out.
Until recently, the school district was trying to stay out of the dispute, since it had already paid ACI for the project. In a 2013 letter, members of the school board told Edinger that it was the responsibility of ACI to handle paying the subcontractors it hired, such as Global, and that Global is responsible for paying its own workers.
In April 2013, Findlay City Schools awarded another contract to ACI to renovate an older Millstream wing of the high school into a fine arts wing. The hiring of ACI again was something which Edinger condemned in an email to the board of education because of the payment problems. The board responded to Edinger on May 21, 2013, and said Wittwer was trying to reach officials at Global, but they were not returning phone calls.
Rebecca Dentz, president of Global, did not return calls seeking a comment for this story. In March 2013, Dentz said she was “a very fair person” and “would never not pay our guys.”
Dentz previously claimed that Global wasn’t withholding payments but that it was ACI that hadn’t paid Global, resulting in Global not having enough money to pay the painters.
Kirk previously declined to comment on Dentz’s claims.
Global was providing workers for the Glenwood project from September 2012 through December 2012 when ACI terminated its contract with Global and hired another painting contractor to finish the job.
The Glenwood School project’s construction manager, Chris Moore of Touchstone CPM, said another contractor was chosen because Touchstone and ACI felt Global was not doing an adequate job and “couldn’t stay ahead of the work.”
Because ACI Construction had to replace Global for faulty work, Moore said, it is not required to pay the $25,000 that Dentz claims is owed to her company for its work from October through December.
Despite the switch in subcontractors and other confusion, Wittwer, the school board and Edinger all agree that the problem has gone on far too long and that the painters deserve to be paid for their work they did more than a year ago.
“I’m surprised it’s taken so long,” Edinger said. “(Dentz) said the check was on the way a year ago.”
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