BOS terminates contract with contractor
BY TOM REILLY
SUTTON – Missed deadlines and failure to pay subcontractors were cited as the major reasons for the Board of Selectmen voting unanimously to terminate its contract with TLT – the contractor for the new/renovated middle-high school building project.
The Board opened a special meeting on Oct. 18 and then immediately went into executive session. When it emerged 45 minutes later, the selectmen were ready to make some tough decisions about the School Building Project.
Kopelman and Paige attorney Thomas McEnaney said on Sept. 5, the town made a performance bond claim based on TLT’s, the project’s general contractorcontractor, failure to complete phase 2 of the building project in a timely fashion. Western Surety, the company that holds the bond, notified the town that it had received notice of the claim and were investigating.
Western Surety notified the town on Oct. 9 that they had come to a conclusion as to how they would satisfy their obligation. The town was offered several options.
The town was asked if it was willing to let TLT finish the next phase of the project. If this was not acceptable to the town, McEnaney said, Western Surety would arrange for a contractor other than TLT to perform and finish the contract.
The Board voted unanimously not to allow TLT to finish the work.
Smith told the Chronicle it would take some time for Western Surety to identify a new general contractor and to have this choice approved by the town. He also noted that no work can be done on the project in the interim as TLT has had its contract canceled and the new general contractor has yet to be chosen.
When asked about if the new general contractor would hire the existing subcontractors, Smith said he thought this made sense and the new general contractor would at least investigate this.
The call for the special meeting came after the Board of Selectmen’s meeting two days prior where Sutton Building Commissioner John Couture appeared before the Board to give an update on the middle school construction project. He reported progress continued to be slow but the students appear to be doing well and the school itself is operating “okay.” He said ongoing philosophy has been to pull back and consolidate.
He said they are focusing on the connector between the two schools in the hope of opening that up and the actual transition into the new school had gone well. He added the architect’s punch list and his own mirror each other. He said the interior courtyard was pretty close to being finished except for a few minor things and then the panels they have been waiting for. The concrete has been poured in the auditorium and work is being done on the ceiling.
Couture said the money issues are still being worked on as some of the subcontractors have not been paid. “That’s huge,” he said.
Selectman Ken Stuart asked if the panels had really been ordered and Smith said he was sure they have been ordered but was not certain if they had been paid for. “We kind of get out of left field answers to those questions,” said Smith, adding he believed the panel manufacturer had been paid “something” but did not believe they had been paid everything.
Couture said he has seen the manufacturer’s representatives on site measuring, so he thought the panels could arrive any day, assuming full payment was made. He added this work was being done by TLT and some of the subcontractors.
Stuart said this was very big issue for the town and Couture’s name had only been mentioned positively. He thanked him for all of his efforts to make sure that the contractor did everything correctly.