Village grumbles about sewer plant

06/24/2010 12:00 AM |

A month after learning that its $9 million wastewater treatment plant project was behind schedule, Greenport Village Board members raised questions Monday night about delays they blamed on Philip Ross Industries, a subcontractor hired to do some preparatory work on the project.

Suggesting that the subcontractor had been putting off its Greenport work to handle projects elsewhere, Mayor David Nyce rejected charges from PRI president Philip Carlucci that the village had been at fault for the slow pace of work.

“The contractor has stalled for time,” the mayor said.

“I don’t feel comfortable with the way this is going and the way this is being managed,” Trustee Chris Kempner said.

In a series of letters and e-mails, Mr. Carlucci maintained that village officials were being nonresponsive to questions he had raised about a supposed water leak from the south lagoon into the north lagoon. The lagoons are small ponds that are used to aerate and stabilize wastewater.

On May 1, PRI removed the liner at the north lagoon and reported a leak from the south lagoon, Mr. Carlucci said in a May 24 letter to village utilities director Jack Naylor.

“Philip Ross Industries is still waiting for the owner to stop the leakage,” he wrote. “Until that is accomplished, Philip Ross Industries cannot progress the project in this area.”

But the engineer of record overseeing the project, Mark Wagner of Cameron Engineering, wrote in a June 15 letter to Mr. Carlucci, that his firm had evaluated the situation immediately after PRI’s concerns about the leak had been voiced and determined that the berm between the two lagoons was stable and “not in danger of failure.”

Mr. Wagner wrote that PRI representatives promised at a May 27 meeting with the village that they would develop options for capturing any water that might enter the north lagoon through the middle berm, but as of mid-June hadn’t offered any to Cameron or village officials. PRI also hadn’t defined any plan for removing sludge in the north lagoon, he said.

“I’m extremely frustrated with the contractor,” Mr. Nyce said Monday night. “At this point, he needs to get to work.” PRI has been given answers to all its questions, the mayor said.

“We’re six months from breaking ground [and] nothing has been done,” he said.

In his report to the board Monday night, the village’s Mr. Naylor called Mr. Carlucci’s accusations of delays caused by the village “without merit.”

The month before, Mr. Naylor had attributed delays to foul weather that he said had put the project about 30 days behind schedule.

Responding to pointed questioning from Ms. Kempner, Mr. Naylor defended payments made to Cameron Engineering, explaining that 70 percent of its work was in creating shop drawings and they have been completed.

“They need to know that we are not happy with the progress,” Ms. Kempner said. “We need to get this project going. Not only am I unhappy with the progress, I’m unhappy with the correspondence,” she said, referring to the letters and e-mails from Mr. Carlucci.

In an e-mail to The Suffolk Times Wednesday, Mr. Carlucci, wrote: ” As with any project of this magnitude, some complications are inevitable. At inception, severe winter weather created a major setback, resulting in a delay of progress on the work site.

“We are in the process of solving on-site issues, and look forward to working with the village and all its partners towards the successful completion of this important project.”


Village residents will get to weigh in at Monday night’s Village Board meeting on a resolution introduced by Trustee Michael Osinski that could allow them to keep up to 20 chickens, no roosters, on their property without seeking any board approval.

Put up a light

The Village Board will consider the request by KACE LLC to operate a tasting room at its Route 25 vineyard in Greenport. Mr. Nyce said that, if the project is approved, he wants to see a permanent traffic light at the intersection of Routes 48 and 25, where only a flashing light is currently installed.

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