Smithtown officials have hired a consultant to test asphalt and weigh asphalt trucks used by a contractor that has sued the town for more than $1.8 million it says it is owed for work performed.
Town officials in May hired Universal Testing & Inspection Services Inc., based in West Babylon, to send a monitor to plants in Nassau and Suffolk that supply asphalt to Medford-based Suffolk Asphalt Corp., officials said.
Smithtown Supervisor Patrick Vecchio said there were concerns that the "composition of asphalt wasn't to the standard it was supposed to be. There may be more filler . . . than what was required."SIGN UPGet weekly community newsletters
Vecchio said the town pays $450 each paving day for the monitor using funds from the highway road account.
The monitor also documents asphalt weight on scales at plants, instead of at job sites. Councilman Edward Wehrheim said asphalt vendors in the past had showed up at locations designated to be paved and a highway supervisor would then sign weight slips.
"There was no one checking the weight at the plant," he said.
Town officials said the changes will ensure the town gets what it pays for.
"A sample of every truckload of asphalt is taken at the plant and we send it out to a testing lab to ensure the quality of the asphalt," Councilman Thomas McCarthy said.
Earlier this month, an engineering report showed that four Smithtown and St. James roads paved by Suffolk Asphalt in November -- allegedly below minimum temperature standards set by the state Department of Transportation -- should not deteriorate prematurely.