CHESHIRE -- Selectmen have awarded the remaining work at Thunder Brook Dam to contractor Sumco Eco Contracting of Salem.
Sumco will be responsible for the second part of a dam removal project there. The remaining work entails a culvert replacement downstream from where the now-removed dam was located. Sumco bid the project at $88,800.
With the town having recently received an extra $15,000 from the Department of Fish and Game (DFG) to complete the project, Town Administrator Mark Webber said the town will be left with a small balance after the expense. Webber said the company aims to complete the project within 30 days.
Of the six companies who submitted bids to build the culvert, Sumco was not lowest. That bid belonged to A Martins and Sons of Ludlow, at $72,000.
However, Selectmen were not eager to re-enlist the services of that contractor, after a recent water main replacement at Furnace Hill they performed resulted in complaints from town government and residents. Sidewalks marred by heavy machinery, unannounced water outages and a generally messy work site were among the complaints.
In the end, Selectwoman Carol Francesconi said A Martins and Sons did not receive the project for a different reason.
"They're not getting the job because they were unable to furnish references for similar work," Francesconi said at a Selectmen's meeting Tuesday night.
The state's procurement law requires Select Boards
The town Highway Depart ment performed the dam removal portion of the project, saving the town an estimated $140,000 bill from a contractor. The Hoosac River Watershed Association, in addition to Department of Environmental Protection and DFG, has advocated for the project to protect the river's ecosystem and create a healthy water flow there.