Elizabethtown Sewage design at center of lawsuit

Town: we have not been served, continue to negotiate

— A lawsuit over payment for design work on a sewage treatment system is the latest firestorm between the current and former administrations in Elizabethtown.

Engineering company Barton & Loguidice, who provided engineer services to the town for its proposed sewer project, filed suit in Essex County Court on Sept. 4, contending that the town owes them $154,964 for services rendered.

Town Supervisor Margaret Bartley said that as of Monday, Sept. 23, the town had not received notice that the suit had been filed.

“As of (Sept. 23), the town has not been served with the lawsuit,” she said. “It is the hope of the current town board that a negotiated settlement will be reached so that the town can move forward with the sewer project.”

Bartley said that the last time she and the town had spoken with the company, both sides were still looking for a settlement on the claim.

“On Sept. 6, I received the following message from B&L’s attorney via our town attorney, which said: ‘B&L is hopeful that a negotiated resolution of this matter can be reached in the near future and stands ready to provide whatever information the town seeks in order to do so. However, I needed to file suit to protect B&L’s rights. It is not my intention to prosecute the suit so long as negotiations are continuing,’” Bartley said.

The suit stems from a Notice of Claim sent to the town by Barton & Loguidice in August of 2012, seeking $154,964 for unpaid bills from 2009 to 2012. Since that time, Bartley said negotiations have been ongoing between the town and the company.

According to Bartley, the town received a state DEC Grant for $1 million to pay for the cost of designing a sewage treatment system. In 2009, then Supervisor Noel Merrihew signed a $585,000 contract with Barton & Loguidice, a fixed price agreement for engineering, design, easements, environmental studies, bidding and grant administration. Between 2009 and 2012, Bartley said the town paid $765,000 of the grant, which exceeded the negotiated contract by $180,000.

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