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Friday, April 20 News

Deal reached on asbestos lawsuit

The Board of Selectmen voted Tuesday to approve a settlement offer with the third contractor named in a 2005 lawsuit brought by the Town of New Canaan after cost overruns during the New Canaan High School renovation.

With the settlement, which was offered by Kaestle Boos Associates, the town nets $1 million, bringing the total net recovery of damages to $2.9 million, First Selectman Robert Mallozzi said in a news release Tuesday afternoon.

"In a time of tough budgeting and increased pressure on expenses, this award will help defray future capital costs and lessen the burden on taxpayers," he wrote.

The lawsuit was brought by then-First Selectman Judy Neville, who's now a Board of Finance member, seeking damages related to overcharges for asbestos abatement during the school's renovation project.

The renovation was originally budgeted at $49.3 million. Unforeseen asbestos removal increased the cost by $11.6 million. The final cost was $65.5 million.

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"My administration is also well on the way to closing out the high school construction project by working pro-actively with the state to recover our portion of the cost-sharing dollars that had been unattended to in the past," Mallozzi added.

Nelson Oliveira|Education/general assignment reporter