Law­mak­ers eye $100K for tun­nel law­suit

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - FRONT PAGE - By Ariél Zangla azangla@free­manon­line.com

KINGSTON, N.Y. >> Al­der­men are con­sid­er­ing a $100,000 bud­get trans­fer to pay for the law­suit the city is fil­ing over sewer line dam­age al­legedly caused dur­ing re­pair of the Wash­ing­ton Av­enue sink­hole.

City Cor­po­ra­tion Coun­sel Kevin Bryant told the Com­mon Coun­cil’s Fi­nance and Au­dit Com­mitte on Wed­nes­day the $100,000 bud­get trans­fer would help fund lit­i­ga­tion ap­proved by law­mak­ers in Septem­ber.

“We’ve al­ready dis­cussed this,” Bryant said. “We just didn’t dis­cuss pay­ing for this new ac­tion.”

Per Bryant’s re­quest, the com­mit­tee moved for­ward a res­o­lu­tion to trans­fer $50,000 from the city’s con­tin­gency fund and $50,000 from the sewer fund to pay for the law­suit.

The res­o­lu­tion must still be voted on by the full Com­mon Coun­cil, which next meets in Novem­ber.

Bryant has said the case will be against “mul­ti­ple par­ties” and seek to cover

costs for “all of the grout­ing work that’s been done rel­a­tive to the dam­age that was done on Wash­ing­ton Av­enue.”

The sewer line be­came blocked by grout used by con­trac­tors dur­ing re­pair

of a sink­hole that first opened on Wash­ing­ton Av­enue, near Lin­der­man Av­enue, in April 2011.

Dur­ing the sink­hole re­pair, which took sev­eral years, a new lin­ing was in­stalled in a por­tion of the

ex­ist­ing sewer pipe. Part of that lin­ing was dam­aged and col­lapsed dur­ing the grout­ing process that fol­lowed, al­low­ing the grout to partly fill the tun­nel and block the flow in a sec­tion of the city’s

san­i­tary sewer sys­tem be­neath Wash­ing­ton Av­enue.

The grout was ul­ti­mately re­moved in April and the af­fected por­tion of the tun­nel was re­lined in June.

The city so far has bor­rowed

ap­prox­i­mately $2.5 mil­lion to pay for the grout re­moval and re­lated ex­penses. The to­tal cost of the sink­holere­lated work on Wash­ing­ton Av­enue now ex­ceeds $10 mil­lion.

TA­NIA BARRICKLO — DAILY FREE­MAN FILE

Traf­fic moves along Wash­ing­ton Av­enue in Kingston, N.Y., at the site of the former sink­hole.

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