Nashua aldermen again reject reimbursing developer $100K
NASHUA — The Board of Aldermen on Tuesday rejected a request from Mayor Donnalee Lozeau and a fellow board member to reconsider a prior vote that denied a $100,000 reimbursement check to a local developer.
Two weeks ago, the board denied a proposed resolution to pay developer John Stabile $100,000 for work completed last summer to correct a failing abutment along the right side of the Nashua River embankment.
Stabile, as part of the Cotton Mill Square project, worked last summer to install a crest gate at the Jackson Mills Dam, which allowed the floodplain to be lowered and the $24 million dollar housing project to be constructed. However, during construction of the crest gate, a problem was exposed showing the Nashua River embankment on the right side of the dam was not as wide as it should be.
Since the city owns the dam, Lozeau suggested previously that escrow funds be used to reimburse Stabile $100,000 —about half of the cost to correct the abutment problems. That request was approved last fall by city officials, but when the financing was officially requested two weeks ago, the Board of Aldermen denied it.
“We said we would. (Stabile) trusted that to happen. It should happen,” Lozeau told the board Tuesday, asking that it reconsider its original vote. Lozeau said it did not seem fair for Stabile to pay for the abutment work, which cost about $216,000 to repair.
In order to provide incentives for businesses to stay or relocate in Nashua, city officials should follow through with what they say they will do, maintained Lozeau.
Alderman David Schoneman, Ward 3, voted against the reconsideration, stressing the matter has been discussed thoroughly. When escrow funds were set aside last fall, Schoneman said that reserve money does not indicate a promise of payment.
“You win some, you lose some,” said Alderman Ken Siegel, Ward 9, who also opposed the request for reconsideration. Siegel stressed that two separate contracts indicate the city was not responsible for any repairs to the dam, adding it would not be healthy for the board to resurrect a resolution that has already been decided upon.
“This isn’t typical maintenance,” said Alderman-at-Large Diane Sheehan, who made the motion for reconsideration. The city has a business reputation to uphold, and the issue should be fully vetted before it is put to bed, she added.
Lozeau acknowledged that the city doesn’t have to pay a cent for the dam repairs, according to the previous contractual agreements.
“But, it just didn’t strike me as fair,” she added.
Seven aldermen voted in favor of reconsideration Tuesday, while eight board members voted in opposition.