The University of Connecticut is considering nearly a dozen sites for student dormitories in Stamford, including a plan to house students in a building now under construction next to the Government Center. Developer Randy Salvatore’s mixed-use development on Washington Boulevard is one of 11 options UConn is considering for possible dormitories at its regional campus in Stamford.
Among the other sites under consideration are the northernmost building in St. John’s Towers, which is currently being renovated, and a surface parking lot near the Franklin Street Works gallery.
Bridgeport asbestos contractor takes heat in Stamford
The Bridgeport-based company that signs off on the removal of asbestos in Stamford’s 20 schools may have an inappropriate relationship with the company that assigns the work.
AMC Environmental is responsible for testing for asbestos before and after remediation.
The company is located at 622 Clinton Ave. in Bridgeport, the same address as AFB Construction Management, the firm that handles maintenance and repair contracts for Stamford schools.
The Bridgeport building, which displays both companies’ names on a sign in the front yard, is owned by an eponymous limited liability corporation registered to Alfonso Barbarotta, AFB’s chief executive officer.
Barbarotta also is well known in Trumbull through his contracts managing school facilities. He recently won a $20,000 settlement from the town after claiming Trumbull First Selectman Tim Herbst blackballed his business as part of a political vendetta. CLICK TITLE TO CONTINUE
Mattabassett District sewer project nearing halfway point
MIDDLETOWN >> Contractors are closing in on the halfway point of the project to install a sewage pipeline that will connect the city to the Mattabassett water treatment plant in Cromwell. Work on the first half of the Mattabassett District’s regionalization project is 85 percent finished, Water & Sewer Director Guy Russo said Thursday. Presently, two horizontal directional drilling pipes under the Mattabassett River at the Middletown-Cromwell line are being installed.
Completion of the pipeline portion of the project is slated to be done by May 25. Once the project is complete, the plant will treat 675 million gallons of wastewater a day, Russo said. The treatment facility processes waste from Middletown, New Britain, Cromwell and Berlin.
In early 2013, the city paid $13 million to join the Mattabassett District. Contractors broke ground on the project in May 2014. Initially estimated to take 18 months to complete, a six-month extension was granted after sewer pipes cracked during the summer, Russo said.
Voters first approved what would have been a $37 million project in 2012. In 2014, the common council approved an additional $3 million. In 2015, voters overwhelmingly passed a ballot question allocating an additional $15 million, bringing the total budget to $55 million. CLICK TITLE TO CONTINUE
East Windsor Puts 2 More Sites In Play For Casino: Former Showcase Cinemas, Former Wal-Mart
EAST WINDSOR — Two more sites easily visible from I-91 could be in the running for casino development.
One is the former site of Showcase Cinemas, the other of a former Wal-Mart. They are near each other and immediately east of the highway. First Selectman Robert Maynard said both sites will be recommended for possible casino development to the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribal group, MMCT, this week.
MMCT wants to build a casino north of Hartford along I-91 to blunt the effect of the MGM Springfield casino being built just miles from the Massachusetts-Connecticut line.Earlier this month, Maynard announced the first site proposed for casino development in East Windsor — a 33-acre parcel at Wagner Lane and Route 5 that would be developed by Centerplan Cos., currently working on the Hartford Yard Goats stadium project.
Maynard said Tuesday there was still support for the proposed site at Wagner Lane and Route 5, but the board of selectmen wanted to recommend two more parcels. CLICK TITLE TO CONTINUE
Plainville Seeking Bids To Raze Former School
PLAINVILLE — Companies interested in tearing down the former Linden Street School have until Feb. 19 to submit bids for the work that consultants recently said might cost more than the $2.6 million the town has set aside for the job.
The latest estimate from consultants is that it may cost as much as $3.3 million to demolish the century-old brick building, closed since 2009 and unwanted by local groups because of the projected $7 million cost of bringing the old building into compliance with building, safety and public access regulations.
Prospective bidders must tour the vacant building before submitting bids, according to the town's bid notice. Town Manager Robert Lee said the actual bids will clarify the likely cost of razing the former school.The town council will discuss the project at its meeting on Monday.
Lee said Wednesday that a recent adjustment in the state grant for the project will allow the town to seek reimbursement for up to $3 million, so the town has some cushion on project finances. CLICK TITLE TO CONTINUE
2015: A Good Year for Construction Employment
Forty-four states and the District of Columbia added construction jobs in 2015 while construction employment increased in 39 states and D.C. between November and December amid strong demand for construction in most states, according to analysis of Labor Department data released Jan. 26 by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials said that many of the states experiencing construction declines appear to be energy producing states.
“Construction employment expanded in most parts of the country last year as demand for new projects rebounded,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, chief executive officer of the association. “The question now is whether declining energy prices will impact construction employment in a larger part of the country this year.”
California added the most (59,300 jobs, 8.6 percent) construction jobs between December 2014 and December 2015. Other states adding a high number of new construction jobs for the past 12 months include Florida (28,500 jobs, 7.0 percent), New York (26,500 jobs, 7.6 percent) and Colorado (11,700 jobs, 7.9 percent). Hawaii added the highest percentage of new construction jobs during the past year (15.5 percent, 4,800 jobs), closely followed by Iowa (12.9 percent, 10,000 jobs), Arkansas (11.0 percent, 5,200 jobs) and Idaho (11.0 percent, 4,100 jobs). CLICK TITLE TO CONTINUE
standing their ground Power plant foes hope to persuade public to vote no on tax deal
OXFORD — Opponents of a proposed 785-megawatt dual-fueled power plant in the town's industrial park say the project is not a done deal. On Thursday night, 38 of them gathered at Colonial Tavern here to discuss ways in which they can persuade the public before the town votes on Feb. 11 on whether to approve a $112 million payment in lieu of taxes over the next 22 years for the controversial CPV Towantic Energy Center. Opponents say that a no vote will send a symbolic message to Maryland-based Competitive Power Ventures, the developers of the proposed plant, that residents do not want the facility that CPV says is under construction, will provide hundreds of jobs and will power hundreds of thousands of homes in the region. Opponents say that CPV has a track record of leaving communities where public outcry has been fierce. In Oxford, though, CPV says it is here to build the plant, which the Connecticut Siting Council approved last year. The council approved a modification of the existing approved site, which called for a 512-megawatt facility. It was proposed by General Electric in 1999 and approved, but was never built.
In 2012, CPV entered into an agreement with GE Energy Financial Services to modify and develop the project. The group said Thursday they wish they had a better answer to lingering questions about what a no vote ultimately means for how much taxes Oxford will get. Selectman Kathy Johnson, the minority Democrat on the three-member board and the only one opposed to the project, said a lot of people are "throwing their hands in the air and saying it's a done deal. "I've been hearing for 18 years it's a done deal," she said. Opponents say that if the plant is built, the town should be getting more tax money than is being offered, and that First Selectman George R. Temple, an ardent supporter of the plan, should negotiate a better deal for the town.
Temple and CPV say that a no vote simply means the town and the developer would revert to a tax stabilization plan approved in 1999 that calls for about $53 million in taxes for the town. CLICK TITLE TO CONTINUE