Herbst requests special meeting of Town Council

First Selectman Tim Herbst is calling for a special meeting of the Trumbull Town Council later this month, to vote on two potential settlements — all related to Trumbull sewers and the Trumbull WPCA.

Specifically, the Herbst administration is proposing a legal settlement with Bridgeport-based Mark IV Construction and a proposed settlement with the City of Bridgeport relative to the treatment of Trumbull’s wastewater. The contractual arrangement with Bridgeport and Trumbull spans nearly four decades.

“My administration has been actively engaged in developing legal settlements relative to the Mark IV Construction litigation as well as working through mediation in the Bridgeport Superior Court to develop a settlement with Bridgeport concerning our contract to treat our effluent,” Herbst said in a statement. “It is critical that all stakeholders review these potential settlement options and act collectively to begin repairs in the Jog Hill section of Trumbull and settle the contract with Bridgeport.”

The City of Bridgeport has tentatively agreed to a 10-year deal with Trumbull and has also endorsed Trumbull leaving Bridgeport during that same time period to pursue a regional agreement with another adjoining municipality, Herbst said.

In light of the tentative agreement with Bridgeport, at this same meeting, Herbst said he will ask the Trumbull Town Council to approve a referendum question to be placed on the ballot for consideration by the voters in November. Specifically, the proposed ballot question will ask Trumbull voters whether they support leaving the Bridgeport agreement and pursuing a regional agreement with another adjoining municipality. The first selectman noted that the charter revisions he championed in 2011 make the referendum mandatory, rather than discretionary.

“Whatever alternate option we choose to pursue, the total cost will arguably be in excess of $15 million over the next several years,” he said. “In light of this fact and in accordance with our Town Charter, before we pursue any alternate plan, I will be going directly to the Trumbull voters to get their blessing to proceed with an alternate regional agreement that does not include the City of Bridgeport.

“As I have previously stated, I believe an alternate regional agreement, with Stratford, Fairfield, or a combination of both, could long term reduce Trumbull’s sewer use rates, which is a primary goal of my administration. I believe partnering long term with another municipality other than Bridgeport would be better for Trumbull ratepayers and taxpayers,” Herbst said.