Lawmakers eye $100K for tunnel lawsuit
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.
Traffic moves along Washington Avenue in Kingston, N.Y., at the site of the former sinkhole.