Bridgeport library board, contractor at odds over $500K cost overruns for new branch

The new East End library branch has finally opened after a few years’ worth of delays. But that milestone accomplishment is marred by an ongoing dispute involving $500,000 in alleged cost overruns between the developer, Ashlar Construction, and the city’s library board. The matter is in the hands of the municipal law department. The tensions between the board and Ashlar over the rising price tag were evident in the minutes of a May 2021 library board meeting. At that time O’Donnell sought to dispel “rumors” in the East End that the Newfield project was held up because library officials were withholding the $1.4 million from Ashlar’s subcontractors. “We had a contract for about $6.2 million. He came to us with an overrun of $1.9 million,” Errichetti said. “He never discussed most of the change orders with us. We were aware of a few, but not all, and not the magnitude. … His cost overruns aren’t our problem if he didn’t come to us and tell us he was having them.”

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