2007-08-23 / News

Town, RITBA, come to terms on bridge land sale

By Donna K. Drago

Town Administrator Bruce Keiser met Tuesday afternoon with representatives of the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority to hammer out final details of the agreement to purchase a piece of land the authority owns to put up a highway barn.

Keiser said yesterday he had a "gentlemen's agreement," with David Darlington, chairman of RITBA, and that Town Solicitor Peter Ruggiero is currently drawing up a final document to be signed by both parties.

Among the points agreed to on Tuesday are the sale price of $97,500, which has not changed. A cap not to exceed $25,000 for any future legal or engineering fees was agreed to, Keiser said, adding that the town will receive invoices for any work and pay the actual costs up to the cap amount.

As far as the look of the building is concerned, Keiser said that RITBA asked to see samples of materials proposed to be used in the construction of the barn, and they will be given cedar shingles and both asphalt and metal roofing materials to look at.

"We have a general agreement on the look of the building," Keiser said.

The town has agreed to exempt both RITBA and the state's Department of Transportation from any liability for damage to the highway barn while those agencies are doing work on the bridge. Debris falling on the roof during snowplowing is one example of the type of damage that could occur, Keiser said. But, any third party contractors, hired by RITBA, to perform work on the bridge, would have to carry insurance to protect the town highway facility, Keiser said.

Finally, RITBA has agreed to assume liability for any work on environmental remediation, such as the removal of lead paint from nearby soils, Keiser said.

The town administrator said he would give a full report of the agreement at the Aug. 27 meeting of the town council.

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