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Sep 9, 2009 12:35 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Septic system at Southampton Town Justice Court complex to be fixed

Sep 9, 2009 12:35 PM

A septic system that was installed last year at the new Southampton Town Justice Court complex in Hampton Bays without approval from the Suffolk County Department of Health will not have to be replaced, according to Victor Canseco of Sandpebble Builders, the construction managers on the project.

But when the court will actually move out of its crowded quarters in the basement of Town Hall—a move that had been planned to happen in January—and into the new complex is up in the air.

Instead of ripping up the pavement of the parking lot in front of the complex and digging out the tank, Mr. Canseco said the county has signed off on the town installing an additional leaching pool and tying it into the system already in the ground. Mr. Canseco said installing a new leaching pool to connect with the existing system should cost about $20,000.

Sandra Cirincione, assistant town management services administrator, said she did not want to guess at a price or when the relocation to the Justice Court would eventually take place. According to Ms. Cirincione, the scope of the work is due to change once it begins. “We’re expecting two business weeks,” she said, adding that the work should start later this month. “But we can’t say for sure until we get underground and see what the conditions are. There are certain elements we can’t define until we get in there.”

In July, Town Supervisor Linda Kabot estimated the cost of breaking up the parking lot and putting in a new septic system to be $60,000. The town has already spent $3 million on the project.

The problem with the system now, according to Mr. Canseco, is that the county was not there to witness its installation back in October. Now, the county will be watching to ensure that the added leaching pool passes county muster.

Aldo Andreoli is the engineer consulting with the town on the septic tank, but, according to Ms. Cirincione, the town has not yet hired a company to install the new leaching pool.

Another issue with the Jackson Avenue location that has delayed the court’s move was the foundation underneath the trailers that house the facility. Initially, plans for the Jackson Avenue site called for moving the town’s tax assessor and tax receiver from Town Hall into eight prefabricated modular units. But then the decision was made to keep those offices at Town Hall and move the court to Jackson Avenue instead. When that happened, the General Services Department ordered 11 more units for a total of 19, and the standards for compliance increased, according to Mr. Canseco.

The issue of concern now is that the portion of the facility that will house the court itself, rather than offices, is considered a more permanent installation and because it will be more heavily utilized than mere office space, the foundation must meet more rigid standards to be in compliance with state code.

“There will be more people in the court and therefore more weight,” Mr. Canseco said. “What’s needed is to spread out the load.” To do that, Mr. Canseco said concrete supports can be put in place to distribute the weight ensuring the structure’s safety. Mr. Canseco estimated the work to secure the foundation to take up to a month.

Ms. Cirincione, however, said that is only one method to secure the foundation and the town was in discussions with John Condon, the engineer on that aspect of the project, and Mr. Canseco as to all available options. Ms. Cirincione said no final decision has been made and that a contractor has not been hired to do the work. Ms. Cirincione said she was unable to guess how much securing the foundation would cost.

Mr. Canseco said the reason the cesspool went in without county approval in the first place was that the town wanted to meet the January deadline for completing the court’s relocation. That deadline was not met.

According to Mr. Canseco, he was told by Town Management Services Administrator Richard Blowes in October 2008 to go ahead with the installation, even though he had estimated that permit approval wouldn’t be granted by the county until the spring. Mr. Canseco maintained that the town wanted to put the system in place by January, and to meet that deadline, the town had to get the tank in the ground before the end of the year, because the parking lot still had to be paved, and asphalt companies stop paving around that time due to the onset of winter weather.

As Mr. Canseco explained it, adding another leaching pool would require making a hole about 8 feet in diameter and 13 feet deep and connecting it to the existing tank. Waste from the buildings flows into the tank where it is held for 24 hours, Mr. Canseco said. Then, the solids are broken down into liquids and run into the leaching pools where they are recharged back into the ground. During this process, the liquid is filtered through the sand in the septic system as it is cleansed before seeping back into the earth.

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To put you "in the know" you would have to realize that the installer put in the ground what they were contracted to do. The problem was that it was never inspected by the SC Health Dept....as the article states, the project was hurried along to get the paving done before the cold temps set in & paving would not be possible.
By mjb (14), This Island on Sep 1, 09 10:25 AM
"The new facility, with a secure passageway for the transport of prisoners, would also solve the potentially dangerous situation of escorting prisoners within close proximity to Southampton Elementary School, which is located next to Town Hall."
Well that's logical, seing as the court has been next to the school for a mere 28 years.
By Terry (380), Southampton on Sep 1, 09 11:53 AM
3 members liked this comment
Mr. Blumenthal, I have visited your shouldirun.com website and all I can say in repsonse is, "Please don't run".

A quote from your website, "I, for one, am outraged at the flagrant disregard for the safety of the American people displayed by the incumbent administration." Perhaps you could get Dick Cheney to be your campaign manager.
By dagdavid (646), southampton on Sep 1, 09 12:31 PM
The same set of circumstances in the private sector would have resulted in fines and no dealing with the board of health. Now maybe the Town realizes that things don't go so easily....
By The Real World (368), southampton on Sep 1, 09 4:06 PM
1 member liked this comment
"The Town wanted to meet the Jan. deadline" what kind of excuse is this?????? The dog ate my homework. This is totally the contractors fault. Any Contractor knows the SCDH regs.
By rabbit (65), watermill on Sep 4, 09 8:35 AM
Isn't this the same contractor who is being sued by Easthampton School District? maybe there is something afoot
By C Law (354), Water Mill on Sep 16, 09 8:24 PM