Board vets capital requests

Building 25, the former hub of the rubber industry on Maple Street, is one of four buildings in Naugatuck the public works department in seeking money to demolish. –RA ARCHIVE

Building 25, the former hub of the rubber industry on Maple Street, is one of four buildings in Naugatuck the public works department in seeking money to demolish. –RA ARCHIVE

NAUGATUCK — Borough officials presented their capital project requests to the Board of Finance Monday night.

In total, department heads from the police, fire and public works departments and the Whittemore Library requested over $12 million for projects. The board ultimately decided to budget about $2.04 million for capital projects in the 2014-15 fiscal year.

The majority of the funds budgeted, $1.73 million, is for public works projects.

The projects include $800,000 to begin upgrading the wastewater treatment facility and $300,000 to make repairs to a sewer line.

The facility upgrades, which are required by federal mandate to remove nitrogen and phosphorus from the water, are estimated to cost $55 million over five years. Public Works Director Jim Stewart requested $8.1 million to begin the work.

Stewart said the sewer line that runs under Fulling Mill Brook is in danger of failure. The brook has eroded the walls near the pipe and caused them to collapse, he said.

“The engineers have looked at this and they are very worried that a few more storms later that pipe gets washed out and you’ve got raw sewage running in the river and we’re working on an emergency basis,” Stewart said.

The public works department also requested $220,000 to demolish three buildings — the building at 1 South Main St., and homes at 146 Walnut St. and at 1 Orchard Terrace.

The borough will be reimbursed the cost, $20,000, to demolish the home at 1 Orchard Terrace by the bank that owns it.

The department is also looking to demolish Building 25, the former hub of the rubber industry on Maple Street. The cost to raze Building 25 was not presented Monday night.

The borough tried to preserve this building, which is the only remaining building from the rubber plants, for many years. However, the Board of Mayor and Burgesses began having discussions about demolishing it last year.

Stewart also requested $678,673 for road repairs. The borough will receive over $320,000 from the state for road work.

The board chose to fund $200,000 for repairs. The board felt the $520,000 would be sufficient to finish Candee Road, which it is currently working on, and Mulberry Road.

The board approved $194,587 in capital projects for the police department. The largest of these projects is the purchase of eight new SUVs. The vehicles will be leased over three years at approximately $124,000 a year.

The department requested money for new vehicles last year, but ultimately it was removed from the budget.

Nearly $95,000 was set aside for the fire department including $40,000 to repair and repaint the leaking windows at the firehouse on Maple Street, $49,200 to replace 29 radios and $5,500 to replace six air bottles for the firefighters’ breathing system.

About $21,000 was approved for projects at the Whittemore Library. The request included $3,700 to remove wallpaper and repaint the main entry area, $3,600 to replace the front step railing and $1,500 to renovate the children’s patio and garden area.