NAUGATUCK - Edward Street off of Rubber Avenue may be reopened soon after officials closed it to traffic nearly two months ago because they feared a large detached garage could collapse into the roadway.
The garage is actually located in the back of a property at 122 Aetna St.; it abuts Edward Street and if it fell, it would likely fall onto that one-way road (see photos attached.) Borough officials say they have tried several times to contact the owner of the property, listed on property records as Ismael Rivera Jr., but they have not been able to find him. They say he is no longer living in Naugatuck and the last known address they had for him was in Newtown, where officials also could not locate him.
Because the house has been deemed a safety hazard by the building inspector, it is now the borough's responsibility to tear it down. On Tuesday night, the Board of Mayor and Burgesses approved paying a Watertown company to knock it down. Naugatuck will pay $12,100 to Ocean Trace Development Corp. of 83 Greenwood St., which was the lowest bidder for the project.
The borough originally approved a bid last month to the same company for a lower cost, but the company representatives said they didn't realize there was abestos in the building that needs special environmental remediation. Therefore, the cost would have been higher, the company said.
Borough Engineer Jim Stewart said officials decided the best way to proceed was to send out a new bid with the environmental remediation included in the specifications.
On Tuesday, Deputy Mayor Tamath Rossi questioned why Ocean Trace Development Corp. had a bid that was so much lower than the other bidders. The second lowest bidder, she said, was $22,100, with three other bids ranging to $32,500.
"That is a really big spread and it concerns me," she said. "I'm not trying to disparage anyone who bid because that's not my line of work. But I have to question it when I see these numbers."
She asked what kind of guarantees the borough has to make sure the job is completed correctly. Borough Attorney Edward Fitzpatrick said it's simple: the job has to be completed to the borough's specifications before the company gets paid.
Meanwhile, Naugatuck has put a lien against the property. They are still trying to contact Rivera.