John Tuohy was so angry when he left the Town Council meeting Tuesday night he could hardly speak.
The president of the Groton Long Point Association had come to the meeting with his director of public works to ask for $20,800 that was not covered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to fix a retaining wall and clear debris after Tropical Storm Irene.
He expected the town to cover the difference that FEMA did not pay.
But Town Councilors felt otherwise.
Mayor Heather Bond Somers said Groton Long Point should have worked with the town Department of Public Works. But she said they did not wait, so she has no way of knowing whether what they paid was reasonable.
”If you want to use your own person and subcontract it out, then you should pay for it,” she said. “If not, let the town clear up the debris down there.”
Councilor Bruce Flax said he’d support paying the bill once, but not again.
“It seems like you treat yourself like an island,” he said. “… When in reality, you’re part of a big town and working together you probably could get it (done) cheaper.”
Councilors voted down three separate amounts toward all or some of the difference the subdivision wanted. The council is expected to schedule a meeting in the future to talk about policy for working with Groton Long Point during future storms.
Rich Moravsik, director of public works for Groton Long Point said after the meeting, "It would be very simple for the town to draft a letter saying, 'This is what we can offer, here's when we can offer it, here are our rates.' But the town has never done that," he said.
Tuohy said the town is obligated under charter to maintain and clear roads in Groton Long Point. He added that subdivision is unique in that homes are close to the water and can’t wait as they are vulnerable to flooding.
During Sandy, Tuohy said public works dumped gravel on the causeway that leads to the subdivision.
Then Moravsik said he received a letter telling him to repair the causeway. He had to move in boulders to get the job done.
“Then they sent me a bill for the gravel,” Tuohy said. “How is that helping us?”