15 Sep 2014
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Trumbull commission terminates Mark IV sewer contract

The Trumbull Water Pollution Control Authority charged Mark IV with breach of contract for allegedly failing to install sewer pipes in the Dogwood Pond and Dogwood Lane area. Mark IV has 10 days to "cure" the problem, said First Selectman Tim Herbst.

Trumbull commission terminates Mark IV sewer contract Trumbull commission terminates Mark IV sewer contract Trumbull commission terminates Mark IV sewer contract

The Mark IV Construction Co. is out of Trumbull if it doesn't start installing sewer lines in the Dogwood Lane and Dogwood Pond area soon, following a WPCA vote to terminate its Nichols sewer contract late Wednesday.

The company has 10 days to "cure" the problem, a legal term meaning "to deal with in a way that eliminates or corrects," according to lawyers.com.

The town has been talking with Mark IV but the installation, one of the final steps of the Nichols sewer project, has not begun, Herbst said. The town and the WPCA have already sued Mark IV over its bidding process and allegedly shoddy work on a previous project on Daniels Farm Road.

A letter explaining the vote will be sent to the Bridgeport company today (Thursday), according to Herbst.

Town Attorney Dennis Kokenos declined to comment Wednesday night.

Mark IV "has not peformed the installation of mainline sanitary sewer pipe in accordance with the design plan that the company did work on and and was awarded a contract on, and they have failed to respond to the town and independent engineers' requests to do so," Herbst said after the vote.

"They have failed to perform under the terms of the contract," he said, adding, "We need to bring this project to an end."

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Failing to install the lines directly affects 40 to 60 homes in the Jerusalem Hill and Dogwood Lane area, Herbst said.

"Even though [my administration] did not start [the Nichols contract], I am determined to see it finished correctly without taxpayers incurring additional cost" to repair Mark IV's work, the first selectman said. "We are not going to have a repeat of the circus we had [with the Daniels Farm Road work]."

The project is 95 percent complete, according to the first selectman. Bonding for it was approved in 2007 and construction has been prevalent in Nichols since at least 2010.

Complicating matters are the lawsuits and an FBI investigation of the process that led to the Nichols sewer contract, signed before Herbst took office.

The WPCA and the town have sued Mark IV and Mark IV has sued Herbst personally for defamation. Since the FBI probe began in March 2011, Paul Kallmeyer, a longtime town employee and most recently the WPCA vice chairman, resigned from his post.

The town's lawsuit seeks damages for faulty work in the completed Daniels Farm Road project. Problems found, listed in a voluminous report, include damaged piping and sinking roads. An independent engineering firm, Tighe and Bond, has been overseeing the Nichols project.

The WPCA alleged in its suit that unidentified town employees and Mark IV collaborated in unrealistically low-cost job bidding and getting high-priced changeorders approved.

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