A recent two-hour public hearing on sewer construction bills for North Nichols left residents with more questions than answers.
The Trumbull Water Pollution Control Authority took questions from the public and promised answers in about two weeks following the Nov. 20 meeting, according to meeting minutes. The hearing took place in Frenchtown Elementary School.
WPCA Vice Chairman Egri said the first payment would be due next July, which is July, 2013. Another hearing is scheduled for Dec. 12.
First Selectman Tim Herbst said in a statement Wednesday: "The assessments proposed by the WPCA in 2012 for North Nichols are actually lower than they would have been in September of 2009, when this project was started under the Baldwin Administration. In fact, the total amount being assessed on homeowners today is $516,000 less than it would have been in 2009. The average assessment in 2009 would have been $23,275. The average assessment being proposed by the WPCA today is $22,656."
The method for calculating the assessment was criticized. Forty-one people spoke at the hearing.
Interested in Trumbull's news, events, community bulletins, blogs and businesses? Sign up for the free Trumbull Patch daily newsletter, "like" us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
- Another concern was an increase in the charge per linear foot. William Bevecqua, of 30 Partridge Lane, said echoed the "resentment and outrage that is expressed tonight. When this project started we were looking at $100 a linear foot now I’m paying $162 a linear foot and that is a 62% increase. That is an outrage and is unconceivable. This has to stop and this has to change and needs to be brought down to where it is acceptable," the minutes state.
- Jennifer Gerlach, of 90 North St., said her property was not on the original plan. "They bought the house in 2006 and was not told about the sewers at that time and they found out two years later and she wanted to know who should have told her about sewers being installed," she told the authority.
- Ron Johnson, 34 Turkey Meadow Road: "Since the project started it has been a fiasco since day one. There have been huge trucks on his lawn, they knocked down 2 of his lamps, there was a porta-potty and other sewer debris on the corner for a year and a half, and he can’t sell his home because of the condition of the area."
- "[Public Works Director] John Marsilio explained the cost of the roads and the cost of the storm drains are not in the assessments and you will see a complete breakdown of all costs on the spreadsheets and it will be clear that the Town has retained costs of storm drainage and paving."
- Robert Vonstein, 133 North Stowe Place: "A few years ago when he received his first letter about this he was given an estimate of approximately $22,000 and he now received one of almost $29,000. He is being charged for 175 feet of frontage and the pipe that runs into his property from the street is about 15 feet."
The town will pay 25 percent of the total bill, as has been done in the past. The completion of the project represents the end of years of sewer installations in Trumbull.
North Nichols work is governed by Contract IV. Contract III, or the Jog Hill Road area, is problematic because the town and the WPCA is suing Mark IV, the construction company, for alleged defects in the road requiring more than $8 million to repair.
An engineering firm, Tighe & Bond, found the problems in Contract III, and has been overseeing Contract IV. Some town officials and former town officials have questioned the firm's cost.