22 Aug 2014
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North Nichols Sewers Workshop Tonight

The Trumbull Water Pollution Control Authority will hold its third hearing at Booth Hill School.

North Nichols Sewers Workshop Tonight

The North Nichols sewer work may be concluding, but it's not over for north Nichols residents.

The Trumbull Water Pollution Control Authority meets tonight at Booth Hill School from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

It is the third of three workshops. Bills for the north Nichols sewer construction will be mailed out in July, and the average is about $22,700, said First Selectman Tim Herbst. The debt is payable over time.

But the average could have been worse if $10 million in other costs, such as road paving on the project, were included, he added. Homeowner's bills could have been about $31,800.

The $10 million will be paid over a period of years rather than all in one year, the first selectman said.

Many posters on Trumbull Patch say Herbst is unilaterally moving the costs out of the project without approval from town boards or bodies and adding to the project's cost in general.

Another resident defended Herbst's handling of the north Nichols project and blasted his predecessor Ray Baldwin Jr.

Herbst, responding to a letter from Baldwin, said his WPCA is acting responsibly compared to Baldwin's WPCA. The first selectman appoints WPCA members under the Town Charter.

Herbst said his WPCA is questioning changeorders and holding the sewer construction company, Mark IV, accountable. The prior authority "rubberstamped" changeorders, adding millions of dollars in costs to Contract III sewers in the Jog Hill Road area, Herbst said.

For example, Mark IV wanted more money to finish the Dogwood Pond area, but the WPCA refused. Consequently, Mark IV walked off the job but returned after the WPCA threatened to terminate its contract. The company continues to work.

Herbst said the town is locked into a hard-to-break contract with Mark IV and he and the town attorneys researched terminating it after his election in 2009.

The first selectman said his administration helped reduce the cost of the project. The costs of Contract IV (north Nichols) work now contains oversight and new roads, unlike when it began in 2009, he said.

North Nichols residents are also paying a lower interest rate of 2.75 percent on the debt than in Jog Hill, which was about 3.85 percent, he said.

Meanwhile, two lawsuits filed against Mark IV by the town and the WPCA remain pending. One seeks about $9 million in damages for alleged defects in the Jog Hill Road project while the other alleges some town officials and Mark IV conspired to act improperly in bidding for Contract IV.

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