FARMINGDALE — The Selectboard will seek advice from legal counsel on a new dispute over potential reimbursement of a contractor’s performance bond.

An email on Jan. 22 asked Town Clerk Rose Webster to ask the Selectboard to reimburse C.H. Stevenson, Inc. for the cost of a nonrefundable performance bond to take a project on Northern Avenue. Project Manager Adam Lake said the $1,869 bond needed to be secured before signing the contract for the project.

Lake said this issue was not as pressing as the controversy between the same two parties over a dangerous divot on Northern Avenue that was hashed out tersely in November.

“It’s not a big deal or anything,” he said in a Wednesday afternoon phone call, adding that he just wanted to square up with the bond’s commissioner.

The Kennebec Journal reported in August that the project — replacing about a half dozen catch basins and storm drains in the Hayford Heights neighborhood — was awarded to the Wayne-based contractors in 2017. Work was delayed until July 2018. Then workers hit a water main when they started.

Road Commissioner Steve Stratton said the plans the contractors were working with were commissioned from an engineer a few years ago and had no mains marked. He said The Gardiner Water District was finished mapping the mains, but a complete survey of the pipes, drains and basins was not done before winter, so C.H. Stevenson couldn’t start work.

Selectboard Chairman Jim Grant questioned whether the town or the engineering firm hired to survey the area, E.S. Coffin Engineering & Surveying, was responsible for the performance bond.

“If it was our errors that caused the delay, we should be responsible for that bond,” he said, adding that the town tried to expedite surveying from E.S. Coffin. “I don’t think we hold any responsibility for that bond.”

Selectman Wayne Kilgore asked whether the town was responsible for the engineer’s work because they hired them.

Stratton agreed with Grant’s sentiment, saying that it looked as though surveying guiding C.H. Stevenson’s work was incomplete.

“I do know, being up there, nothing was marked out on the ground (at the job site),” he said. “I don’t think the town should be held liable for that bond.”

Grant eventually asked the fellow board members if they should consult town attorney Mary Denison and they agreed to table any decision until next meeting. No action was taken.

Lake suggested in the same Jan. 22 email that the project be put back out to bid.

“I am not sure what the plan is with the Hayford Heights job,” Lake wrote. “At this point, I would think it should almost be rebid if the town still wants to pursue the project.”

Lake said before the meeting that he did not know what the next step was if the Selectboard denied his request.

Sam Shepherd — 621-5666

[email protected]

Twitter: @SamShepME

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