Neglia Engineering, the borough’s engineering firm, was awarded a total of $178,000 in professional services at the November 16th Mayor & Council meeting with two resolutions.
The larger of the two awards – for $164,000 – was for engineering, architectural and construction/project management services for the new proposed Department of Public Works (DPW) building. Although listed as “DPW Yard Improvements”, the project is the actual construction of a new DPW complex at the corner of Laurel Avenue and Seaton Avenue – adjacent to the train tracks.
The current DPW yard is next to the little league fields and across the street from the Roselle Park High School athletic complex. In 2015, the cost for demolishing the DPW yard was approved as a capital budget item that brought the total for the project to $3.2 million. According to Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Ken Blum, the $164,000 for the services to be provided by Neglia is a little over 5% of the total project and will come from its budget. That $3.2 million, which is already being paid by taxpayers through numerous capital budgets over the years, increased from an original $2 million budget.
Although not directly related to the borough’s Coalition On Affordable Housing (COAH) requirements, the current site of the DPW is where the proposed senior housing is set to be developed. Senior housing is a component that the municipality agreed to address in order to satisfy its COAH obligations but, as of yet, no construction nor concrete plans have commenced. Senior housing is one part of the agreed-upon requirements that resulted from an agreement that the borough reached with AvalonBay Communities to stop the developer’s builder’s remedy lawsuit in 2009.
In addition to senior housing, the current DPW site has had major issues that were expressed in a letter DPW mechanic Mark Jaskula wrote in May of this year to mayor & council. That letter was read into the record by DPW Superintendent Mark Pasquali at the June 1st municipal meeting. A copy of that correspondence is available below:
(Download DPW Correspondence)
The second amount for $14,000 is for construction/project management services for improvements and repair to a streambank retaining wall.
This amount brings the total paid to Neglia for services above and beyond its annual contract close to half a million dollars ($484,080).