Fairfield: Selectmen approve contaminated site remediation contract
FAIRFIELD — The Board of Selectmen has unanimously approved a nearly $300,000 contract to clean up soil at five sites where contaminated fill had been dumped.
In its Meeting April 6, the board approved paying about $240,000 for the remediation to New Haven’s Cisco LLC, and an additional $50,000 if needed.
First Selectwoman Brenda Kupchick said she pushed for the item to be on the agenda because she wanted to get the work started while children were out of school.
Remediation will take place at Osborn Hill Elementary School, Mill Hill Elementary School, Sunset Avenue, Old Dam Road Tennis Facility and Southport Beach.
“(I wanted) to get some of this stuff done, and give some work to these people, especially in this time,” Kupchick said, referencing the coronavirus pandemic’s impact on the economy. “It needed to be done anyway, as long as they can get it done safely.”
The payments will come from money already approved for soil remediation and not have to be moved from any other source, officials said.
In January 2017, lead and PCBs were found at a stockpile near the town’s dump on Richard White Way. The pile was being operated by Julian Enterprises. Under the contract signed between the town and the company, Julian was to process soil and non-hazardous materials from town building sites and store it at the town facility to be sold as clean fill.
Investigators found that contaminated soil from the pile had been used in development projects in town. As the town and Julian Enterprises sued each other in the aftermath of the original discovery, the cost of remediation continued to climb.
In January 2019, Fairfield Police announced that the pile was the subject of a criminal investigation regarding illegal dumping of hazardous materials.
Joseph Michelangelo, who served as the town’s public works director from 2012 to last year, is accused of conspiring with Scott Bartlett, the town’s former superintendent of public works, and Jason Julian to allow the company to dump truckloads of contaminated waste into the pile.
Michaelangelo was charged with second-degree forgery, conspiracy to commit second-degree forgery and illegal dumping; Bartlett and Julian are charged with multiple counts of first-degree larceny, first-degree forgery, second-degree forgery, conspiracy, paying and receiving kickbacks and illegal dumping charges.
All three men have plead not guilty. Their cases were continued until June 1.
In January, former Chief Finance Officer Robert Mayer was accused of stealing documents related to the fill pile the day after his employment with the town ended and was charged with third-degree burglary, third-degree larceny and tampering with evidence. Mayer was released on a $10,000 court-set bond pending a June 2 court date.