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Finance Board, RTM Seek Fairfield Metro Center Answers

The First Selectman's office is fielding questions on FMC cost overruns.

[Editor's Note: The full .]

Inquiring minds want to know why the project burst through its budget.

Members of Fairfield’s Board of Finance and Representative Town Meeting were shocked to learn FMC might is between $2 million and $6 million over budget. Especially because the town of Fairfield is responsible for any cost overruns according to the contract it negotiated with the Connecticut Department of Transportation.

And for the past few weeks, interim First Selectman Michael Tetreau and his staff have been compiling responses to questions and calls for documentation about the project.

The complete list of questions and answers —and will be updated in real time, with attachments and a place for readers to comment below it—as well as on the town’s website. Here is a brief highlight of some of the issues.

According to Tetreau’s office, the Guerra Construction Company will receive an early completion bonus.

“There is an early completion bonus clause in the Guerrera Contract based achieving substantial completion prior to 480 calendar days from July 16, 2010, which is Nov. 7, 2011. The bonus is $3000 per day,” according to the First Selectman’s office.

The Board of Finance also was concerned over why a project manager was never assigned to this project.

“I have no knowledge of why this decision was made. One of the first steps we are doing to move the project forward is to add a Construction Manager to the team,” Tetreau said.

As for Fairfield departments offsetting some the extra costs Tetreau said they are exploring whether the “might be able to help with the work to be done and what if any the cost savings might be. Currently, DPW is helping with the Inspections to reduce our costs with STV. We will keep everyone updated on future status reports if other options are viable.”

Another question concerned escrow fees involved in the project. Tetreau said there are two items that would be considered Escrow accounts. Black Rock Realty put approximately $4.4 million in escrow with Town Attorney Richard Saxl.

“This money has been used during the Metro Center construction and has been drawn down to zero. The second amount is approximately $845,000 that is currently held by the Town Conservation Commission. It is anticipated these monies will be released in the near future for use in completing the project,” Tetreau said.

For their part, the RTM questioned .

Questions also included whether Tetreau would rescind former first Selectman Kevin Flatto’s decision to remove Steinke from oversight duties. The RTM also wanted the town to justify paying “outsiders to continue the 4 plus year ban of this Town Department from its normal duties for solely this 35 acre parcel of contaminated land.”

“Given the status of the project and the short time, I don’t have any plans to change the project personnel at this time other than bringing the Construction Manager onboard,” Tetreau said. “Based on where the project stands with such a short time to a possible October completion, I do not see the benefit of changing the personnel at this time.”

alahana grundy July 26, 2011 at 04:22 PM
when will the landscaping be completed? it seems that mounds of dirt gets pushed around and moved daily,how do you now the difference from good and containment soil.? are you going to remove the obvious debris such as tires from the creek?

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