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Preview: January 22 Town Council meeting

An update on Prism and downtown redevelopment, the investigation of a town contract and reconstruction of the Ginny Duenkel wading pool headline the agenda for the January 22, 2013, council meeting.

An update on Prism and downtown redevelopment, the investigation of a town contract and reconstruction of the Ginny Duenkel wading pool headline the agenda for the January 22, 2013, council meeting.

The agenda and related documents are here. (Actually, a couple of materials aren’t posted yet. I’m asking the administration to put these materials online.)

The township’s redevelopment legal and financial professionals are scheduled to brief the council on the status of the town’s request to Prism Capital Partners, the designated redeveloper, for information related to its ability to move forward with the Edison project. The original request, last October 26, followed disclosure of a foreclosing proceeding against the company on the Barton Press property in the redevelopment area and property-tax delinquencies. The professionals are scheduled to brief the council and public during the council meeting’s conference agenda at 6:30 p.m.

The administration disclosed a state investigation of the town’s contract with Gold Type Business Machines (GTBM) in its request to hire Edwin R. Matthews, an attorney at the firm of Bourne, Noll & Kenyon, to conduct an inquiry of the transaction “to determine if there have been any improprieties and, if so, how they can be remedied and avoided in the future.” The contract involves supplying camera and ticketing equipment in 10 police cars.

In a separate agenda item, Mr. Matthews and his firm are also proposed to assume the town contract to defend against residential property tax appeals for an annual $33,000. He would assume the work from Stephen Schwartz, who is terminating his contract this month to pursue a career opportunity.

The administration is asking the council to fund a contract for $12,800 to design the reconstruction of the wading area at Ginny Duenkel pool, including bid documents and a “spray pad sprinkler system.” In materials given to council but not on the town website, proposed vendor Integrated Aquatics Engineering appears to estimate the overall cost of reconstruction, which appears to roughly double the size of the wading pool, at $100,000-$120,000, excluding equipment.

The agenda also includes:

- A request to renew a one-year contract with Fairview Insurance Associates for risk-management consulting related to the town’s continuing participation in the Garden State Municipal Joint Insurance Fund (JIF). Fairview’s proposed compensation is 7% of the amount the JIF assesses the town for its own services. The JIF’s assessment is not specified in the materials, so the dollar amount of Fairview’s fee can’t be determined. I’m asking the administration for that information.

- A request to approve two change orders for a net decline of $14,042 in the construction contract for the Mayfair sewer project.

- Three proposed Interlocal Service Agreements with the West Orange Board of Education specifying the town providing the funding to the school district to resurface the soccer field ($400,000), install lighting at the football field ($200,000) and build a concession stand ($350,000) at the high school.

- A proposal to pay $4,900 to SOR Consulting Engineers – which quoted the lowest price among three competitive proposals -- to investigate soil at the high school for the placement of lighting for Soriano field.

- An executive session (closed to the public) to discussion potential litigation.

I’m a West Orange Township Councilman, since 2010, and can be reached at jkrakoviak@westorange.org. A former financial journalist, in my spare time I’m a business communications consultant.

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leslie January 23, 2013 at 11:41 AM
So we will be spending almost a million dollars on sports related expenses? Why does a concession stand cost as much to build as a house and what is the surface of the soccer filed made of?
barry_geltzeiler January 23, 2013 at 03:15 PM
Leslie, its wrong to call it a concession stand. What they are building is an ADA compliant handicap accessible bathrooms which the field is overdue in needing that happens to have a new concession stand attached to it. They are wrong in calling it just a concession stand. It is much more.
Gary Englert January 23, 2013 at 03:50 PM
leslie: The soccer field (now 12 years old with an anticipated life of 10) is an artificial grass surface (commonly referred to as Astroturf), the cost of which is far less expensive that trying to maintain real turf during a comparable lifespan. Also, atrificial turt doesn't require resting (as does real turf) and the Township simply does not have sufficient playing fields to rotate them in and out of service. The demand for playing fields is hiugh and this remains the cheapest way for the Township to provide them.

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