Lawyer: city dragging its feet on driveway payment
Posted in the Trumbull Forum
#1 Aug 6, 2014
BRIDGEPORT – The city appears to be dragging its feet across the $400,000 driveway it built for millionaire developer Manuel “Manny” Moutinho across Sikorsky Airport property in Stratford.
The lawyer for the adjoining condominium complex claims the city is stonewalling three months after it agreed to pay $20,000 to the residents of the Breakwater Key condominium for plantings and a fence to divide the 1,200-foot gravel driveway from the condo complex.
“I asked them several weeks ago to step up to the plate and take care of it but nothing has been done,” said Richard Saxl.“And it’s getting a little later to put in plantings.
Saxl said the mayor has also not given them a signed agreement stating the city will not further develop the land around the driveway as the city promised in an agreement entered in Superior Court.
“We are trying to be a good neighbor and give the city a chance to do what it promised but I may have to go back to court,” Saxl said.
“More than two-thirds of the settlement with Breakwater Condos went toward their attorney’s fees. That’s been paid. The less than one-third of the settlement payment remaining will go toward creating increased separation between an access road and condos. That’s currently being processed,” said the mayor’s spokesman Brett Broesder.“But the bottom line is that the city is focused on moving forward with the Sikorsky Airport project, on-schedule. This long overdue project includes a nearly $40 million investment of federal and state funds, helping to ensure Sikorsky Airport achieves its full-potential as an engine for economic development in Bridgeport and across the region.”
On May 1 the city agreed to settle a lawsuit brought by the condo association paying Breakwater and a former unit owner a total of $74,000 including $20,000 for the plantings and fence.
Moutinho, who owns MTM Builders, built an ornate mansion with a large swimming pool on a piece of waterside property across from Short Beach in Stratford. Until the summer of 2012 the only access way to the property and that of two other homeowners was a dirt road that led from Stratford’s Main Street through marsh land owned by the city of Bridgeport as part of its Sikorsky Airport. In July 2012 the Stratford Zoning Board of Appeals granted Moutinho’s application to build a 120 foot long driveway through the marsh to Stratford’s Sniffen Lane. At the time Moutinho said he was going to pay for the construction and the maintenance of the driveway.
Breakwater Key sued to block the driveway and won. Superior Court Judge Dale Radcliffe later ruled that Moutinho’s claim that he needed a new driveway because the state was going to close the old one wasn’t supported by the evidence. State officials in fact said the old road could be used with some upgrades.
But at some point between last summer and the driveway’s completion in June 2012, Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch’s administration quietly decided to take over the project as part of a $40 million runway safety upgrade the federal government wants completed by 2016. The city assumed Moutinho’s permits and, despite Breakwater’s then-pending zoning appeal, hired the controversial developer to install the driveway for $400,000.
Since: Jun 14
#2 Aug 6, 2014
Another story that prove that there is still Corruption in Bridgeport. Shame on Finch.
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