Framingham Town Meeting approves $175K settlement

Source: http://www.metrowestdailynews.com, October 17, 2013
By: Danielle Ameden

Special Town Meeting on Wednesday approved a $175,000 payout to settle lawsuits stemming from contaminated fill from a town project ending up in a Milford family’s yard.

The deal resolves a lawsuit Framingham filed in 2010 against the Walpole contractor that did roadwork for the town on New York Avenue, and a countersuit that firm, SB General Contracting, filed against the town.

Town Counsel Chris Petrini said the town’s cost is “a modest sum” and it ends the case.

“I’m in favor of this settlement because it seems reasonable,” Precinct 4 member Dick Weader said.

Petrini said the SB General Contracting and its project engineer failed to follow specifications and oversee the proper disposal of the fill, which contained asbestos.

A trucker SB hired ended up dumping the fill in the Rowe family’s yard in Milford, telling them it was clean, Petrini said.

After neighbors complained, the state Department of Environmental Protection tested the fill and found it was contaminated, Petrini said.

Under the settlement, the town will pitch in $75,000 toward the cost of hauling away the fill from the Milford yard.

SB and several other involved parties, including Kleinfelder Northeast Inc. of Cambridge, formerly known as SEA Consultants, and CJM Construction of Milford, would pay their own shares.

Framingham will also pay Lillian and William Rowe $100,000. The family will receive additional money from the other parties involved in the dispute.

The money is coming out of the appropriation for the New York Avenue Utility Corridor Project.

Petrini said the contractor and its engineers are paying the town’s legal costs for the case.

Even with the settlement, Framingham could still be on the hook for fines from the DEP for environmental violations, Petrini cautioned Town Meeting.

Special Town Meeting resumes tonight at 7:30 in Nevins Hall.

 

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