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Easton Shelter Committee Faults Project Contractor

EASTON, Conn. – Members of the Easton Animal Shelter Building Committee expressed their frustrations with the slow-moving construction project and with the general contractor's absence from a recent meeting.

“The million-dollar question that everyone asks is, ‘When will this project be done?’” said Animal Shelter Building Committee Chairman Peg Macaluso. Although the project is nearly 90 percent completed, Macaluso said, “it could be done in two-and-a-half weeks or it could be done by next Christmas.”

The nearly $600,000 project began in June 2010 and was originally scheduled to be completed by Dec. 21, 2010. The new 12-run dog shelter will replace a 50-year-old, four-run dog shelter located at Westport and Sport Hill roads.

The slow-moving pace of the project, according to committee members, could be blamed on the lack of oversight by Robert Carlson, the general contractor. June Logie, a committee member, said the town has had “no control” over Carlson since the first day of the project. “That is why we are three times further behind,” Logie said.

This isn’t the first time that those close to the project have faulted Carlson for the slow progress. Last month , architect Mark Halstead told The Daily Weston, “I think big problem is that the Carlson workers were not here every day.”

In a phone call Monday, Carlson admitted the project was delayed but said his company’s work was about “96 percent” completed. The only items left were the installation of flooring throughout the building, he said, which should be completed in 10 days or so.

After the installation, Carlson said, he expected to address a punch list, which he said, consisted “of just nicks and touchups.”

But Macaluso distributed an 11-page punch list to her committee last week, which depicted what she called “a major issue” with electrical work, including wiring and emergency lighting that were not installed correctly. Macaluso also said the linoleum flooring still needs to be installed throughout the shelter. The reason for the delay, she said, was because the tiles were backordered until Feb. 4.

Some of the other items on the punch list include:

  • Radiant heating in kennel is not working.
  • There is a broken boiler cover panel in the lower level of shelter.
  • A drinking fountain in the office was installed on the wrong wall.
  • A sink designed for mopping is already showing rust stains.
  • A boiler installed in the basement is not working.
  • The floor in the cat room has yet to be installed.

Although the work by Carlson Construction seems to be moving at a slow pace, Macaluso said, work is getting done on the Morehouse Road shelter. Carlson has finished all fire proofing in the building and installed all ceiling tiles. She also said the town has completed a number of projects, including paving the driveway and parking areas and installing exterior fencing and interior/exterior dog run cages.

“It is coming along, it’s just really slow,” she said.

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