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West Babylon landfill's stormwater detention system being replaced

A garbage truck enters the Covanta Babylon Resource

A garbage truck enters the Covanta Babylon Resource Recovery facility on Gleam Street in West Babylon on Tuesday, April 27, 2004. (Newsday Photo / Kathy Kmonicek) Credit: NEWSDAY STAFF/Kathy Kmonicek

A project is underway to replace a botched stormwater detention system at Babylon Town’s landfill that cost millions of dollars and ended in a lawsuit settlement.

The town awarded a $13.3 million contract to Great Neck-based Galvin Bros. Inc. in 2008 to install an underground stormwater detention system — more than 70,000 polypropylene boxes or tanks under a 500-foot-long strip of land.

But the boxes collapsed in several areas, and the town refused to pay Galvin Bros. the remaining $3.2 million for the work at the Gleam Street, West Babylon facility.

Galvin Bros. sued the town for breach of contract, the town countersued and half a dozen other companies working as subcontractors got involved in litigation.

None of the parties admitted liability and the matter was settled in March 2013, with the town paying Galvin Bros. $1.85 million, and Kosuri Engineering & Consulting, the developer of the rain tank design, paying the town $875,000, according to settlement documents.

The town has since hired Holbrook-based G &M Earth Moving Inc. to create an open-air stormwater recharge basin on a large portion of the site, with the rest of the site to host a solid waste sorting area.

The sorting area is used to sift through trash to search for reported missing items, like a lost wedding ring, town spokesman Kevin Bonner said.

The project at the Covanta-run landfill is expected to cost $2.8 million, according to the town.

Tom Vetri, Babylon’s deputy commissioner of environmental control, said the rain boxes in the southern portion were removed and sheeting was installed to stabilize the new recharge basin and adjacent ash fill that holds what remains of incinerated trash.

Rain boxes in the northern section remain in place and are functioning, with the solid waste sorting area, what Vetri refers to as a “car hill,” to be located on top of it.

Bonner said about $2.2 million remained from the failed stormwater project, but has since been reallocated, so the money for the new $2.8 million project is coming from the garbage district’s solid waste fund.

“We are excited to have settled the dispute over the original project in such a way [that] allows us to repurpose the funding to fulfill the original purpose of this initiative — a recharge basin to protect our vital underground water source, and a car hill to facilitate smooth garbage collection operations, and the occasional wedding ring retrieval, for our residents,” Vetri said.

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