Bond Comes with Conditions, Criticism

            The Rochester Planning Board Tuesday night approved a $805,000 surety bond for the developers of the massive Village at Plumb Corner housing project to begin Phase II of the construction process. First, however, the board chided the project’s technical consultant, Brian Wallace, over what has not been done to the panel’s satisfaction in Phase I.

            “Stuff we ask for, we never get,” Planning Board Chairman Arnold Johnson complained. “Stuff you want, we make it happen.”

            All paving isn’t finished, and the Community Building that was supposed be part of Phase I has not been constructed, Johnson elaborated, and work on the Countryside Child Care playground relocation has not started.

            The board also chided the developer’s use of the word “substantially” complete in its request to move on to Phase II. It is the board’s responsibility, not the developer’s, to decide when work is “substantially” done, Town Counsel Blair Bailey said.

            “We have done quite a bit of work over the last year,” Wallace responded, noting the work has been done at a steady pace. “But there are a lot of moving parts.”

            Wallace promised that construction of the community building will be done and ready for an occupancy permit around August 31, and the playground will be relocated around late August or early fall.

            “That Community Center foundation should have been done first,” Johnson responded, noting this was agreed upon as part of Phase I.

            The board then agreed that its consulting engineer, Ken Motta, would review the site work in order to prepare a full punch list of everything that must be completed before Phase II begins.

            In other business, the board announced it has received the draft decision approving the Countryside Child Care playground relocation plan. It delayed voting on the decision, pending input from Motta and Town Counsel Blair Bailey.

            The next meeting of the Rochester Planning Board is scheduled for Tuesday, June 28, at 7:00 pm.

Rochester Planning Board
By Michael J. DeCicco

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