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Westport Finance Board Approves Funding for Hurricane Irene Repairs

The board appropriated $320,750 to the Department of Public Works for numerous storm-related repairs.

When Public Works Director Stephen Edwards made the request for funding from Westport’s Capital & Nonrecurring Expenditure Fund Wednesday, he noted that at least 75 percent of the funds will be reimbursed by FEMA, though he believes a greater percentage will be covered.

Edwards’ plan is to complete all related repairs prior to beach season. The RTM will vote on the repair funding next month and Edwards said he would like to begin the repairs in March in order to be done by April. Each project will be done concurrently and about take two to three weeks to complete. 

A few repair projects on the table:

  • The Hill Point Road revetment repair has already been bid out at $83,900, but originally was estimated at over $90,000.
  • The wall is currently being bid on and is estimated to cost $150,000.
  • The Harbor Road revetment is estimated to cost $62,000, but Edwards believes he may be able to get that bill down to $50,000. Having the work done ‘in house’ will save Westport money, as FEMA will reimburse 75 percent of the original estimate.
  • The Burying Hill Beach repair is estimated to cost $18,750 and Edwards believes that cost will be lower as well.

Board of Finance member Brian Stern acknowledged the fact that the lowest bid on one project was nearly 50 percent lower than the highest bidder.

“It (bidding) is exactly the right thing to do and we should encourage bidding whenever possible,” Stern said. 

Though Edwards agreed bidding is cost beneficial given the current market, he said Westport must be prepared to ‘throw out non-responsive bids’ from unqualified workers who are simply desperate for work. 

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