Lane Bridge work money approved

Photo of Brian Gioiele

Engineering and construction work will take place on the Lane Street bridge over Means Brook, as the result of expenditures approved by the Board of Aldermen at its Thursday, June 26, special meeting.

In their vote last month, the aldermen voted to appropriate $189,760 — finnicing to be bonded or paid for with borrowing in the bond market — for the bridge replacement. Another $800,000 for the project will be received from state Department of Transportation (DOT) grants, according to Aldermen President John Anglace.

According to the state DOT, the bridge needs replacement because of several factors, chief among them its age (more than 70 years) and a "poor" DOT rating. The bridge also has no sidewalks and has a critical level of scour, a phenomenon in which fast-moving water removes sediment such as sand and gravel from around bridge abutments or piers and can lead to bridge failure. Additionally, the bridge's twin culverts need to be replaced.

Earlier votes on this work called for an agreement approved by the aldermen directing $249,329 to the firm of Milone & MacBroom of Cheshire, for construction inspection services. Th aldermen also directed $2,048,092, to New England Road, Inc., of Clinton, for construction services. Ultimately, the state DOT is expected to reimburse Shelton for 80 percent of the cost.

In other business, the aldermen approved 38 end-of-year transfers, closing the financial books on the 2018-19 fiscal year.

“A lot of them are regular payroll and part-time payroll accounts, where the money is transferred from regular payroll to part-time payroll, and vice versa, just because of the balance or in-balance or lack of full-time positions,” said Mayor Mark Lauretti.

Lauretti said that most of the transfers were small in size, outside of those departments involving part-time and full-time payroll line items, such as the utilities account ($50,000 from street lights to hydrant charges) and highway ($46,514 from gasoline and diesel to school bus parts).

The one large transfer was in the police department, which required a $280,000 transfer from the police private duty revenue account to the police private duty account.

“We have had a very busy year with police private duty,” said city Finance Director Paul Hiller. “The account is significantly overdrawn, but the good news is that the revenue account is also in outstanding shape.”

Hiller said transferring the $280,000 balances that budget account, which is required under state statute. He added that there is still a surplus in the police private duty revenues account, which will allow for future expenditures.

Anglace asked if the auditors had examined the transfers and agreed with the city’s actions, to which Hiller said yes.

“I had a discussion with the auditor in advance of this meeting (June 26),” responded Hiller, “and he is in full agreement with the procedures.”