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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

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Building shuffle plan exceeds budget

Published 4:31 pm, Thursday, April 24, 2014
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Shuffle plan problems
Unexpected costs related to the town building projects:
35 Leroy Ave.
$140,000 for duplicate payments of services to contractors
$37,000 for asbestos abatement
$95,000 for the redesign of the sprinkler system
Mather Community Center
$150,000 more than expected for asbestos abatement
$35,000 for the rebuilding of an unstable exterior wall
$30,000 to redo temporary gym lighting and fire safety installations
$56,000 for the control valve for the steam heat
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The problems that have delayed the completion of the town building projects at 35 Leroy Ave. and Town Hall are nearly resolved, though the $7 million project is expected to run more than $500,000 over budget.

David Campbell, chairman of the 35 Leroy/Mather Center project committee, updated the Board of Selectmen about the project Monday.

The shuffle project was scheduled to conclude in October with the closing of the senior center on Edgerton Street and the opening of the community center in Town Hall, where the Board of Education was once located. The Board of Education is now at the old library building at 35 Leroy Ave.

First Selectman Jayme Stevenson said in late March that the project was slated to be $300,000 over budget, but Campbell said that figure would be higher.

Near the end of the 35 Leroy Ave. building renovations, the original general contractor, Dappreio Construction, was not paying some subcontractors for the work that was being completed and the company was showing signs of financial weakness.

"One of the problems that we've had is that we've had to pay some people twice to get the jobs done," Campbell said. "From what we can tell, the general contractor took $500,000 from the subcontractors."

A new contract was awarded to Gar-San Corp., of Berlin, in early September to complete the Mather Community Center piece of the project.

Gar-San's bid came in at

$3.1 million, which is within $10,000 of the original lowest bids.

According to Campbell, the contractors who worked at Dappreio have gone into business in Florida and North Carolina with the same employees.

However, the town won't be able to recover any money from Dappreio because the company has no money, Campbell said.

"We hope the subcontractors can find a way to get some more money out of him," Campbell told the selectmen.

Four of the subcontractors -- Enterprise Electric Contractors Inc., Oscar's Abatement LLC, The Woodmill LLC and Naugatuck Window and Glass -- have filed civil suits against Dappreio. All of the subcontractors claim Dappreio failed to pay them for the work that was done.

In total, Dappreio owes $365,573 to the companies and has failed to appear in court in all cases, according to the state Department of Justice website.

According to Campbell, the town has earmarked $300,000 to pay the subcontractors, but needs the approval from town attorneys to pay them.

Selectman Reilly Tierney asked that Campbell provide the difference between what the project will cost compared to what was initially budgeted.

"We're probably turning this over in the middle to late May," Campbell told the board. "Then we have another month of reconciling everything to get to where we stand."

The Mather Center was slated to open in October, but the combination of contractor change and frigid winter weather caused delays.

"It's all finally coming together," Campbell said.

mspicer@bcnnew.com; 203-330-6583; @Meg_DarienNews