Borough files counterclaim in Lake Como Outfall Pipe lawsuit

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BELMAR — The borough is counter-punching in a legal dispute with the construction firm that built the Lake Como Stormwater Outfall Pipe and later filed a lawsuit claiming that Belmar still owed it more than $300,000 for the project.

The counterclaim, filed by the borough on Aug. 8, accuses J.E. Hannon INC, trading as Bird Construction, of breach of contract, negligence, unjust enrichment, breach of implied warranties and negligent misrepresentation. 

Central to the borough’s argument is that Bird Construction, which completed outfall pipe’s construction in May 2018, “breached the terms of the contract by failing to complete the work for the associated project and also the work that was completed was deficient and not in accordance with the contract and also the construction plans.”

According to the suit, the flapper valve system, which regulates hydraulic flow from Lake Como to the ocean, has failed on “multiple occasions and currently fails to function as was required under the contract.”

The Lake Como outfall pipe connects Lake Como with the Atlantic Ocean and is meant to alleviate flooding in the three towns the lake borders- Belmar, Lake Como and Spring Lake.

Located in Belmar, the pipe runs underground, before coming onto the beach near the intersection of Ocean Avenue and North Boulevard. 

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