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Unmarked pipe could prove costly

Dan Barnaba, builder and president of Eldan Homes, the company developing the land in Harbor Heights, updated the board on construction and discussed a few problems within the sites.

Barnaba said sites 4, 5 and 6 were completed besides a few last items including touch ups to the roads and fine grading and seeding in sections 4 and 5.

"Depending on the weather, we are hopeful that we can have the blacktop down by the end of the year," Barnaba said.

In section 6, existing power lines are preventing builders from constructing anything on one remaining lot until the power lines are moved. Barnaba said they were waiting for National Grid to move some poles.

Barnaba also said his workers found an undersized, buried pipe. The pipe was not identified on the company's blueprints of the town. The pipe allows water in the Commodore Circle area of Harbor Heights to drain into the river.

In what Barnaba called a preexisting condition, Eldan Homes replaced the pipe with properly sized drainage with the intent of draining it into the creek once the project was finished. Even though the Army Corps and Department of Environmental Conservation approved the project initially, they have since told Eldan Homes they can not reconstruct the man made creek to properly drain the pipe.

"We can not correct the off site drainage problem under Army Corps and DEC regulations," Barnaba said. "There is an engineering solution, but it is very costly."

He estimated the cost of fixing the problem to Army Corps and DEC standards to be around $20,000.

The board is now faced with the problem of who fixes the drainage problem.

"Something needs to be done sooner than later," said Jim Billings, town engineer. "There is only one practical solution. Who pays for it though?"

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