Boardwalk fix on tap for spring

By Dawn De Busk

Staff Writer

NAPLES — While the peeling stain on the Causeway boardwalk is hidden under a layer of ice and snow, it has become one of the hot topics that Naples residents have been discussing.

“I guess the hottest issue in town seems to be the peeling stain that was put down this fall on the Causeway sidewalk,” Naples Town Manager John Hawley said on Monday.

“Although there are many theories as to why the product is peeling up, both the product manufacturer and the contractor have committed to correcting the issue and making sure that whatever we end up with for a finished product will be the proper finish,” Hawley said.

The contractor is Caretake America, which has the contract with the Town of Naples to maintain the Causeway. The product, a latex-based sealer, was purchased from Sherwin Williams.

The product manufacturer and the contractor “are committed to making this right. It won’t be an embarrassment to Naples,” Hawley said.

“I apologize that this has created such an issue for the town,” he said.

The Causeway boardwalk was discussed during the Naples Board of Selectmen meeting on Monday.

Chairman Jim Grattelo talked about the cost and the bidding process.

When the Causeway renovation project wrapped up in fall 2013, there were sections of the boardwalk that were not up to the town’s standards. So, the town withheld money from what was owed to the state for the Maine Department of Transportation (MDOT) project.

Later, the MDOT approved the town using that funding to fix the boardwalk.

“It was widely-publicized that it was $120,000,” Grattelo said. “We have in no way paid this individual $100,000,” he said.

“There is significant amount of money set aside, and it won’t be paid” until the town is satisfied with the final product, he said. “If anyone thinks that $100,000 was paid out. It was not — I can assure you,” Grattelo added.

“The concern was raised, ‘Why did this not go out to bid,” he said.

The project was not viewed as a brand new one. The funding had already been approved at a previous town meeting.

“There was some confusion. It was assumed that the original people involved with the Causeway” were responsible for maintenance. “The town manager made the assumption, and [the sidewalk sealant project] went to the people taking care of the Causeway,” he said.

“I assure you that the bid protocol has been followed by the town manager,” Grattelo said.

Hawley said that the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has been contacted regarding the loose chips of sealer. The cleanup will start as soon as weather allows in the spring, he said.

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