The Times
  • Newport sidewalk replacement comes under scrutiny

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  • Contractors who worked on replacing sidewalks along Bridge Street in Newport did so without the proper paperwork on file, according to the village mayor.
    Mayor Ashley Hennings said in an email an insurance document for Art Bass Concrete Construction was not on file but now has been received.
    In the future, I expect to plan much further in advance and have a much clearer picture of the project scope for both the board and village residents, she said. It was our intention to act in the best interest of the village residents and ensure public safety and welfare.
    Hennings said some unexpected costs did arise, and wasnt sure of the total cost of the project. She did not respond to further inquiries questioning the date the document was received, the start and completion dates of the project nor if it was put out to bid.
    The construction company could not be reached.
    Village Trustee Heidi Worden said she had pressed for the project because of the need for handicap accessibility since its near the post office.
    At a recent board meeting, Worden said the proper paper work should have been on file prior to the project beginning.
    Thats not how you do work on a project, she said. It is a municipality, and we have to be held accountable.
    Hennings had assured that it would be addressed.
    Worden said there also was no contract for the construction company on file.
    The state Attorney Generals Office and the village Attorney Aubrey Dunning did not want to comment.
    Karen Morrison, vice president of Transportation and Technical Services for the Associated General Contractors New York State LLC, said requirements vary from contract to contract.
    Its common practice to require certificates of insurance, but it depends on what the contract says, she added.
    Worden had requested at the meeting that the project be halted until the paperwork was on file.
    The sidewalk project is completed, she said last week. They didnt stop it, and Im not very happy about it.
    Suppose when they were cutting that tree down, somebody fell and got hurt, she later asked. Who would be liable?
    Worden also had taken issue when village Highway Superintendent Herm Harris admitted during the public meeting that he was supervising the contractors but not getting paid.
    Hennings could not immediately be reached for further comment.
    Harris did not return calls.
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