Pierre Sabourin, owner of The Gathering Restaurant was at the town council meeting. He's building a new place of business out on Hwy 247, across from Branford Elementary School. He's waiting on a grant to provide a lift station and paving to his property.
He said, "I'm so frustrated, I haven't heard anything from the grant people, I've been calling them every day, and they don't know anything, and we are already six months behind. That's loss of revenue for me, not counting the interest payments I am making, and my equipment. Everything is sitting idle, and the very thing that is supposed to be helping me is costing me a bunch. No one is financially liable but me, I'm frustrated here. Joe Cannon, Council President, said "I spoke to Ms. Jordan, Friday, and she said we should be OK by the end of the month." "She and her engineer said I should be in production by the first of June." And right now the bids haven't been advertised," said Sabourin. "We've got the grant and it will be going to bid," said Cannon. "The grant will provide the paving from Highway 247 to the entrance of the property. There is an easement to put in the sewer lift station which will be covered by the grant. Then for the water and two fire hydrants. The water will be coming in from the Catholic Church with six inch line from Craven Street, and will be running parallel with Hwy 247, and then it will tie in to a 10 inch line on the elementary side of the school, to give a water flow. The grant will be slightly over $300,000 to cover the costs involved. Ms. Jordan assured me that by the first of June, we should be laying lines," said Cannon.
"I can't put much value because of what she said to me in the past. I called today, and she did not know. What can I do," said Sabourin. "This has been one of the most frustrating Community Development Block Grants that she has worked on," said Cannon.
"You can't rush the federal government, but when a fellow has a business he wants to open up. Knowing the process that you have to go through. You have to have a lift station there for the sewer. We can't even do anything, until the money comes through. It's in the process and the engineering firm hasn't asked us to buy any pumps, yet. We aren't going to buy $25,000 or $30,000 worth of pumps, until we know we are going to be reimbursed." said Cannon.
"I talked with Ms. Jordan for about 15 or 20 minutes, on Friday," he added. I've never known anything to drag and drag, like this," said Mayor Don Owens.
"Steve Seiver, the department head resigned back several months ago, and they just put someone in to take his place," said Randy Hatch, 5th District Commissioner.
"They are working with a skeleton crew, we got caught up in this red tape," said Cannon.
"Once again Sabourin said the thing that is supposed to be helping me is killing me financially."
"If we could help you we would, but we are caught betwixt and between, just like you." said Owens.