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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Milford seeking $12,000 for sewer backup

By Brian McCready
Milford Bureau Chief
— The city is seeking $12,000 from Al Dente Restaurant after it was forced to clean up a sewer backup from the Bridgeport Avenue eatery.
Mayor James L. Richetelli Jr. said the sewage backed up into the adjacent M-Bellish Cafe and Tea Room last week, forcing the city to conduct an emergency cleanup. The city is still in the final stages of the cleanup, he said.
Al Dente’s has an agreement with the city that it is liable for the costs of the cleanup, which total $12,000 for the city, and $5,000 for M-Bellish, the mayor said.
“It’s the city’s full intention to seek the money from Al Dente’s,” Richetelli said.
The sewer backup led to flow inside of M-Bellish.
Al Dente’s co-owner Daniel Bagley said late Monday that “this is the first I’ve heard of” the city charging the eatery for the cleanup costs. Richetelli said the city always had the intention of collecting the money for the cleanup.
“The city is not doing this as a favor to any businesses. We will be seeking damages,” Richetelli added.
City Engineer Robert Brinton said Sewer Commission Chairman Paul Austin has sent a letter ordering Al Dente’s to install a grease trap, which would have prevented the backup.
Brinton said basically the buildup occurred because as pots and pans were washed, grease got into the sewer line. He said the grease solidified in the pipes, leading to a clog.
When Al Dente’s opened in 2003, the Sewer Commission allowed the restaurant to operate without a grease trap for 18 months.
When Al Dente’s opened in 2003 it was hailed as being a major part of the city’s Devon Revitalization efforts. In fact co-owner Christina D’Archangelo is a member of the Devon Revitalization Committee.
M-Bellish is housed at the former site of Video Pleasures, a porn store that was bought out by Kingdom Life Christian Church, and it’s Bishop Jay Ramirez, who is a member of the Devon panel. M-Bellish closed down its Stratford location last year and moved to the Devon site. Edward and Caroline Perez operate M-Bellish. They could not be reached for comment.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why are the taxpayers paying up front for the clean-up and hoping to get reimbursed? The cleanup cost should be the responsibility of the property owner. If a 3rd party is responsible - let the property owner go after them.
It is already obvious that Al Dente's has no intention of paying (big surprise) - I am sure the taxpayers will get stiffed again

March 18, 2008 at 1:10 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All I know is that the owners of
M-Bellish should be compensated not
only for the clean-up but for their
loss of business. This was one special place that so many people relished going to.. it was up-lifting to just step inside. I hope and pray we have not seen the last of them.

January 9, 2010 at 3:14 AM 

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