Moutinho's driveway doubled on city bill

Posted in the Trumbull Forum

1 - 10 of 10 Comments Last updated Jun 12, 2013

Lodi, NJ

#1 Jun 10, 2013
BRIDGEPORT -- Developer Manuel "Manny" Moutinho was going to spend $200,000 to build a driveway through city property to his waterfront mansion in Stratford.
Then Bridgeport offered to pick up the tab, and Moutinho's price doubled to nearly $400,000.
Last year, Nick Owen, Moutinho's representative, told both Stratford's Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Commission and the town's Zoning Board of Appeals that the driveway would cost about $200,000.
Owen used that figure at a June 20 Inland Wetlands hearing, meeting records show.
He repeated that price at a July 16 ZBA hearing, with Moutinho sitting quietly in the audience.
Owen also guaranteed the ZBA that one of Moutinho's companies, MTM Classic Home Builders Ltd., not taxpayers, would assume all the expenses for installing the driveway, a new water main and a fire hydrant.
"This is of no cost to the town of Stratford, to the city of Bridgeport, to anyone other than MTM," Owen said.
What a difference two months made.
On Sept. 17, Bridgeport's City Council borrowed $3 million for safety improvements at city-owned Sikorsky Memorial Airport -- money that the mayor's office now says included $400,000 for Moutinho's driveway. The project, built across airport property off of Sniffens Lane, was completed a week ago.
Elaine Ficarra, spokeswoman for Mayor Bill Finch, reiterated Monday night that the city sought three quotes for the driveway project, and Moutinho's Mark IV Construction came in the lowest, at $389,000. Owen's $200,000 figure, "may likely have been a ballpark estimate given without context or scope," she said.
"It is entirely possible that Mr. Owen provided an estimate that may have been lower than what was ultimately needed to complete the project as approved," Ficarra said. "However, we do not have access to the original documentation that was used by Mark IV Construction to seek approval for the work from the town of Stratford."
Owen could not be reached for comment Monday.
Many Bridgeport City Council members have said they were unaware the driveway was wrapped into the $3 million.
Hearst Connecticut Newspapers revealed the arrangement last week.
Moutinho is a controversial figure. He has angered city neighborhoods, battled Bridgeport in court and conducted numerous dealings with Gus Curcio Sr., a felon with ties to organized crime, and with Curcio's associates.
And the FBI is investigating Moutinho's botched sewer project in Trumbull, for which Mark IV was the low bidder.
Moutinho is also a longtime friend and business partner of John Ricci, the veteran Sikorsky Airport manager who helped negotiate the city's decision to take over his driveway project. Finch last week suspended Ricci with pay, after Hearst questioned various property transactions between Ricci and Moutinho over the years, including in 2012.
The mayor said he knew nothing about it. But Ricci, in a brief interview, said he had made the administration aware.
Finch's office has insisted the city had to build Moutinho and three neighboring property owners a new driveway to move forward this year with a $40 million safety zone at the end of Sikorsky's runway.
Ninety percent of those safety improvements are being funded by the federal government.
For decades, Stratford waterfront property owners like Moutinho have used a dirt right of way along Main Street, across from the airport runway. The safety zone will force the rerouting of Main Street, taking up some of that original driveway. As a result, the city said, it owed Moutinho and his neighbors a new driveway.
"If we were unable compensate the owners of these properties, regardless of who they are, we would not be where we are today -- constructing a safety zone that we have so badly needed for decades," Finch said last week.
But whether the city had to provide an actual driveway -- or simply the right of way to build one -- is in question.

Since: Aug 10

Location hidden

#2 Jun 10, 2013
More Corruption in Bridgeport.


Since: Mar 11

Location hidden

#3 Jun 11, 2013
Well, lets' hear from somebody who ought to know, why the price doubled. Chances are these two characters have simply been caught with their hands in the till.

Wallingford, CT

#4 Jun 11, 2013
probably made a profit off the city.

Newtown, CT

#5 Jun 11, 2013
Pad the bill $200,000 then use that $ as "gifts" or "donations"..Great racket..Bribe em with their own money...Just CHANGE,HOPE you like it...Keep voting for these @@!$$@^&^&*...

Since: Aug 10

Location hidden

#6 Jun 11, 2013
Yes, they did, BPT.


Since: Mar 11

Location hidden

#7 Jun 11, 2013
Friggin' bottom feeders. It's gonna be weird to drive way around the runway on the way to short beach.
That house is such a monstrosity, too. It's a soul-less McMansion for sure.
The whole thing is an ugly multifaceted roof, with not enough windows. The roof is like 2 stories high with no windows at all on the 2nd and 3rd floor. The yard has looked like a construction site for 3 years at least.

Southbury, CT

#8 Jun 11, 2013
Ricci, wonder if that could be a version of Riccio? If the FBI is actually taking a real look, the name variations and middle initial changes would be a good place to look. But some honest law around here? Ha-ha-ha-ha-ROFLMAO


Since: Mar 11

Location hidden

#9 Jun 12, 2013
Oh please CTM, it's just a similar name, of some other guido of equally distasteful character. Your making of connections is too hyper-active. I don't fault you for at least wondering though.
Next question: which connected guido gets paid $ 40 million for pouring a bunch of cement at the end of the runway with a foaming agent mixed in? Cuz it sure doesn't cost $ 40 million to do that, but that's what Bridgeport is about to pay for that and repaving Main Street at bit farther to the east.

Since: Aug 10

Location hidden

#10 Jun 12, 2013
Corruption is still running high in Bridgeport.

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