Public Works: Buildings ‘Buried’ Under Locust Lot Could Raise Cost of Repaving Project

Public works officials are seeking $500,000 for next fiscal year in order to repave the Locust Avenue Lot, a project that could cost far more depending on what the town finds at it starts to dig up the pavement. 

Thought two years ago to be right for an approximately $4 million decking job, Locust Avenue Lot will need to be taken out and replaced in one shot, according to Public Works Director Tiger Mann, a project will take about two months to complete. 

The true cost won’t be known “until we get in,” Mann said during a regular meeting of the Board of Selectmen, held Tuesday at Town Hall. “We have been told the buildings that were there prior were actually knocked down and buried under the paving structure. If that’s the case, that is probably one of the reasons why the pavement is failing. This number $500,000 does not take into account if we have to go in and dig out everything that is there.”

The $500,000 request is part of a $5 million overall proposed capital spending plan for the Department of Public Works in the area of administration-and-engineering (nearly half of that total represents the town’s pavement management program). In order to find out just how much the paving project will cost, Mann said, the town needs to “dig a couple of test pits.”

“We will go forward and see if we can do some analysis, find out where the buildings were, ask some people who were around to see if they know where the buildings were buried and then go in,” he said.

‘It Has Started To Fail’: $2.2 Million South School Roof Replacement Drives Board of Ed’s Capital Budget Request 

The estimated $2.2 million replacement of the roof at South School is driving the superintendent of schools’ overall $4.1 million capital request for next fiscal year. 

The project had been scheduled three years ago, yet the Board of Finance at the time asked whether the district could defer it, “so we did,” according to the Dr. Bryan Luizzi. “We really feel you cannot defer it any more,” he told members of the Board of Education during their regular meeting Monday night, in the Wagner Room at New Canaan High School. “We are spending a lot of time with rain problems after storms and water incursion is an issue. And so we need to keep up with it, or other problems happen and we want to avoid those.”

The comments came as Luizzi proposed an approximately $92 million operating budget for fiscal year 2020, a 2.55 percent increase over current spending. The Board of Ed is to vote on the proposed budgets next week, at which point it goes to municipal bodies for discussion and approval, with a final vote in April. 

The South School roof replacement should be able to get done in a single summer starting when school lets out, Luizzi said.