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Town of New Castle Administrator's Report 8/15/14

administrators report-04Last week Con Ed started the long anticipated replacement of the gas line on lower King Street. The Town has known about this planned project for some time and we had some very specific demands of Con Ed:

  1. Since the work involved a major commercial thoroughfare in town – the road could not be closed – one lane of traffic must be allowed at all times
  2. The work had to be done over the summer

Last Wednesday morning, the town was notified of the mobilization meeting for this project which was to start the next day. Gerry Moreschell, Bart Carey, Chief Ferry and myself met with three members of Con Ed's construction team along with the foreman and supervisor of the subcontractor who had been hired to perform the work.

We again made our requirements known that the road could not be closed at any time, they agreed, and we also gave permission for the construction team to work extended daily hours to get the job done from 6 am to 6/7 pm

Merchants were notified by town staff, including myself, who went door to door explaining the project to merchants, and a CODERED was issued as well informing residents about the project.

On Thursday we were notified that work did not begin until 9 am with the foreman explained that the first day involved mobilization of machinery and that the next day they would be on site and working earlier. Merchants also told us that the road appeared closed to shoppers, so we posted street open /stores open signs to alert the public.

Work ended on Thursday by 3 pm because the subcontractor did not bring enough road plates to the job to cover the excavation over night.

On Friday morning we were back on site with the subcontractor and Con Ed. Despite their assurances, work did not start any earlier and the road was closed for a portion of the morning.

We demanded the work be conducted with the road open or not at all for the remainder of Friday. Further, we told Con Ed that all future work would need to be performed at night. So on Monday, August 11 over night work commenced on lower King Street to complete this critical infrastructure project.

Work will continue over night from 7 pm to 7 am throughout the week and lower King Street will be open for traffic and parking during the day. A reminder to all residents that between 7 pm and 7 am the Allen place parking lot is accessible through the train station

We appreciate the patience of our merchants and the cooperation of Con Ed in resolving this matter and for getting this project completed with minimal impact on our essential down town merchants.

This is our last scheduled meeting of the summer, but our staff is hard at work. The tax office is preparing the 2014-2015 tax bills, and they are scheduled to be mailed on August 29, 2014.