Board OKs more money to demo house

This house at 146 Walnut St. in Naugatuck will be torn down soon. The borough of Naugatuck has discussed tearing it down for several years because they say it is a safety hazard. –REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN
This house at 146 Walnut St. in Naugatuck will be torn down soon. The borough of Naugatuck has discussed tearing it down for several years because officials say it is a safety hazard. –REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN

NAUGATUCK — The cost to demolish a dilapidated house on Walnut Street has gone up slightly.

Public Works Director James Stewart informed the Board of Mayor and Burgesses last week that the demolition of the home at 146 Walnut St. will cost $2,000 more.

Bridgeport-based Connecticut Dismantling was awarded the contract to demolish the home for $34,800 on Jan. 25.

Stewart said the additional $2,000 is to cover an increase in the cost of removing hazardous materials. Stewart said Connecticut Dismantling contacted him after reviewing the contract to notify him of the increase.

Stewart said the cost to dispose of asbestos has gone up by $10 a ton and the company is expecting to have to dispose of 200 tons, bringing the total price up to $36,800.

Stewart said, as of Tuesday, the company had not signed the contract so the board could either vote to pay the extra $2,000 or send the project back out to bid. He pointed out the next lowest bid the borough received was $49,000.

Burgess Robert Neth said the board should move forward with the bid it already has rather than trying its luck with getting new bids.

“I would accept the $2,000 more because we understand it is an asbestos issue. $2,000 is nothing compared to what else is going to happen. If we rebid it I think it is going to be much higher,” Burgess Robert Neth said.

The additional money will come from the borough’s contingency account in the budget.
This is not the first time the borough has had to increase its funding to demolish that house.

The board originally awarded the demolition contract to Ocean Trace Demolition of Watertown last June. At the time the company’s bid was $19,440.

However, by January, the company hadn’t done any work and officials couldn’t get a hold of company representatives. The bid was eventually awarded to the next lowest bidder, Connecticut Dismantling.

A start date for the demolition of the house hadn’t been scheduled as of press time.
Mayor Robert Mezzo said tearing down the house is not something the borough is choosing to do; it is something it has to do.

Building Inspector William Herzman has deemed the house, which is owned by former burgess and tax collector Lois Ackerman, uninhabitable because it is a health and fire hazard. He ordered it torn down in 2007.

As the borough moves forward with razing the house on Walnut Street, demolition of the building at 1 South Main St. is expected to begin Friday, Stewart said.

The building, which is located on the corner of South Main Street and Maple Street, was purchased by One South Main Street, LLC, in 2011. The current owners of the property are Rich Hertel, who own Rich’s Car Works on the adjacent lot and Charles Wasoka, who owns American Vintage Furniture, located across the street from the property.

The borough has planned to tear down the building for over two years and has agreed to a deal with Hertel and Wasoka to do so.

As part of the deal, the borough will pay the Weise Construction of Norwich $42,900 to demolish the building. Once the building is demolished, the borough will receive a portion of the property the building sits on to use as a staging area for upcoming work on the Whittemore Bridge and ultimately to continue the Naugatuck River greenway.