Friday, October 21, 2011

Richetelli, Blake and Joy Mum on Missing Millions

This morning when I left my office for lunch at the ComputerFox, I bumped into a local Firefighter who was with me standing in line at Dee's Deli. I introduced myself and casually began to talk about the New Firehouse on New Haven Ave. that is being built at a reported cost of about 4.2 Million.

This was perfect timing because last night the Milford Independent Town Committee met, and we discussed several issues, including the work of Dick Sieron who recently met with our new Super. Ms. Feser on education issues, but none dominated the meeting with more energy and vigor than this firehouse cost. We even had a member of the MRTC come down to ask us questions because he said "he had no idea this sort of thing was going on and that no one in the MRTC or MDTC was talking about it."

This morning he thanked the MITC for being so vigilant while others are so distracted, but to get back to my conversation with the Firefighter, whose name I will not mention, he said "we (Firefighters) are all wondering what happened to the money as well! This has been a divisive issue in the MFD!" and after I read the latest discontent with the 98-102 vote over discord with Chief Lavecchia, it became clear that the real estate deals being made are a big part of the MFD vote of "No Confidence."

Last week, Lavecchia lost his bid to the Fire Commission to combine his est 90K salary with his pension, Lavecchia wanted the same deal that Chief Mello got despite public outrage. He argued it was fair because the MPD set the precedent and Mayor Richetelli supported his request. His objective was to cash in early on his pension and be rehired as the Chief. However, and much to the credit of the fire commission, his request was disallowed and denied. Bob Joy said he also opposed it yet Blake is not on record for or against it.

These facts should bring to light our research at the MITC, we visited the new firehouse ourselves last night. We did the research and posted the construction estimates on this blog a few short days ago. We determined that the true and just construction costs for this Two Bay Garage, with no basement and an attached single story structure should have cost about 1 Million to 1.4 Million without the land. This estimate also included the Architectural design fees, and Union labor brick and steel construction.

Our Vice Chair Steve Borer who is very connected with the Fire Department and has friends and family in the Fire Department confirmed what I heard this morning, last night; that firefighters like their jobs too much. They are afraid that if they speak out or ask questions they will be punished, fired or sanctioned. This is becoming the common theme in our town, and we are hearing it more and more that city employees are afraid to come forward.

Currently Alderman Giantasio is going to be asked to provide proof, and a veritable and credible estimate of how this 4.2 Million of taxpayer money was spent. The justifications from Mayor Richetelli and the Board of Alderman are going to be expected and scrutinized with great detail, and I am going to call out to the chairman of each political party to ask the tough questions as well and hold those culpable accountable on the excessive construction amounts.

As it stands Lametta Construction has a Back Hoe on the fenced in construction site, and despite my personal knowledge of Lametta, I asked around what their reputation was. The trail leads to the City of Stratford, who declined to comment, but none the less those in the know said they were appalled with this company and advised and insisted that Milford not use them. I am still planning on speaking with Former Stratford Mayor Jim Miron to get the details on why Stratford is so visibly upset with this developer. When I find the answers hopefully it will shed some light on why there was no "Groundbreaking ceremony" on this firehouse as is customarily done.

This may also explain why it did not appear in the bidding system for city contracts, and also explain why this was a "no bid contract" to a developer that our neighbor warned us about. These are tough and serious questions that have to be answered. These are also the reasons why the Independent Party was formed, to fight this type of questionable policy and development on behalf of our failed two party system that refuses to do so.

The MITC gets few votes, makes no friends, makes no money, imperils themselves and gets routinely attacked for being a taxpayer advocate. I admire all those individuals in our city who dare to speak out and stand up for the seniors and veterans who are living on a restricted income, and I am saddened by the kids who can't seem to get an unencumbered education. As the facts emerge, I will continue to update this blog, and continue to report back with details on what appears to be a corrupt "Joe Ganim" type of construction deal.  Please report any facts or details you have to me personally.


Firehouse Construction Estimator at the below link:

Milford Board of Alderman Approve 4.95 Million for new Milford Fire station.

Ben Blake Quoted

Alderman Ben Blake, D-5, said he voted to approve the funds for the new fire station because LaVecchia convinced him it will “increase efficiency.” “Hopefully, it will improve safety and be cost-neutral or result in cost savings,” Blake said.

Jim Richetelli Quoted

"an environmental assessment of the site for the new firehouse brought no concerns. He said the architect, DeCarlo & Doll of Hamden, is designing the building, and he hopes construction could start by year’s end." “This is part of the master plan that dates back 40 years,”

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Anonymous said...

We don't need a firehouse we really don't. Our schools are failiing the students. It just doesn't make sense to have another firehouse.

It doesn't make sense that our mayor will be an assistant super. of the schools

It doesn't make sense that our mayor had an accident with a car the town provides at night in New Haven

It doesn't make sense that we combine 90K a year with a pension.

I'm just so tired. Time to move.

Anonymous said...

Yes and it does not make sense to close our school in favor of a new police station