Branford firm backed for $4.8 million firehouse job
Richard Weizel, Register CorrespondentApril 22, 2003
STRATFORD — A Branford construction company has been unanimously recommended by a Town Council committee to take on the yearlong job of building a new multimillion-dollar fire headquarters on Main Street.
A. Secondino Construction Co., Inc. received the endorsement of the council’s Building Needs Committee on Monday after submitting the low bid of $4.83 million.

That’s about $45,000 less than the next lowest bidder, Salce Construction Associates of Stratford.

The recommendation will be forwarded to the Town Council at its next meeting at 7:15 p.m. May 12 in Town Hall.

Stratford building officials told the committee that when Salce was hired for a school construction project years ago, there were a number of problems and delays.

"But we’ve had nothing but positive reports about the Secondino from the people we’ve contacted who hired the company in the past," Leonard Bucher, an Engineering Department representative told the committee.

Committee Chairman Robert Wannagot said the combination of the low bid and the favorable reports about Secondino made the choice an easy one.

"You don’t always go with the low bidder, but in this case the low bidder is apparently also the most qualified for the job," said Wannagot. "That’s also important in this instance because the new building is going to need to be furnished and there will be other costs involved, too."

Town engineering officials said there was a total of 55 inquiries and 15 actual bids, with three finalists recommended. The third finalist — Aspinet Construction Co., Inc. of Avon — bid $5.13 million.

Fire and town officials determined that the current 60-year-old Main Street fire headquarters building has serious problems and has been outdated for nearly a decade.

Deputy Fire Chief John Sybart said the firehouse needed to be replaced long ago.

"We’ve got a badly leaking roof, little space and the building is in violation of several building codes, such as having no handicapped accessibility," said Sybart. "Very simply, we’ve outgrown this space and we are badly in ed of a new building."

The firehouse project will be bonded through the town’s capital improvement program. Town officials said they’ve been seeking approval to build a new Fire Department headquarters since the early 1990s, but the plans have fallen through several times.

To build the new firehouse, the town has acquired several stores adjacent to the current site, along Main Street to Cemetery Street.

The stores — and the former community services building — will be demolished and the new fire station will replace them, officials said.

The fire department will use the current building until the new building is completed.

Town officials said if approved by the Council in May, Secondino Co. would be expected to start the project this summer and complete it in about a year.
İNew Haven Register 2003

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