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New Council to Mayor: Don't Sign Traders Cove Contracts

Council stops short of rescinding contract award at reorganizational meeting

An annual meeting of township government that is normally ceremonial in nature turned controversial Sunday, as township council members formally called upon Mayor Stephen C. Acropolis to put off signing two contracts that would move forward the Traders Cove Marina redevelopment project.

Minutes after four new council members, all Democrats, were sworn into office, Council President John Ducey asked for a motion to request that Acropolis, a Republican, refrain from signing the Traders Cove contracts, which were by the former council.

Councilwoman Susan Lydecker made the motion, and it passed unanimously, including votes in the affirmative from Councilmen Domenick Brando and Dan Toth, both Republicans.

The contracts, worth $3.6 million, include the final steps in turning the former marina into a public park as well as the construction of a spray park that township officials hope will generate revenue. Ducey said he was upset that the contracts were approved on the final day of the former council's tenure at a meeting that took place at 10 a.m., when some residents may not have been able to attend and express their views on the plan.

Business Administrator Scott Pezarras said the mayor – who was not present at the meeting – had not yet sign the contracts, and township Purchasing Agent Richard MacDonald confirmed the contracts had not been formally drawn up.

"If the contracts are not signed, they are not binding contracts," said Ducey.

The next meeting of the township council will be held Tuesday night, but conceivably, the contracts could be drawn up and signed before that time. That possibility prompted some in the audience to call on the council to formally rescind the vote of the previous council, but township attorney Jean Cipriani said that decision would come with some risks.

"If you rescind, there may be a basis for challenge, because it was a sealed bid process," Ciprinai said, cautioning council members that under state law, certain bidders' rights vest after a public vote.

"Rather than going the whole route of rescinding and opening up the township to lawsuits, it would be better if the mayor just didn't sign them," said Ducey.

Last week, township officials said funding for the two contracts had been set aside in 2010 under that year's capital budget. Pezarras has said that construction at the site must be started soon or it will remain a "dirt pile" for another year, as environmental regulations surrounding winter flounder migrations force a tight construction schedule. The park, assuming the latest contracts were executed, was set to be open in mid-summer 2012.

Cipriani said she would provide a memorandum to council members on their options on Monday. Ducey said the council would take up the issue again at the Tuesday meeting.

Reality January 03, 2012 at 10:31 AM
Concerned - excellent points. FYI, the Spraypark in Colts Neck is a Monmouth County Park and has, to date, been free for everyone. The cost to operate it, is shared by all the residents of Monmouth County. In contrast, the costs to operate the proposed Traders Cove Spraypark will be a burden for only Brick taxpayers, not all residents of Ocean County.
Concerned January 03, 2012 at 01:45 PM
Don't get me wrong. A spray park in this town would be a great addition and let's face it, not many of us can afford a day at the boardwalk let alone great adventure or a water park. This would be a great alternative, but can you imagine what it would be like to try and make a left hand turn after the bridge has just gone up? I still don't think the outgoing council considered how many people could be there on any given day.
George January 03, 2012 at 02:23 PM
Amen Concerned
TimeForChange January 03, 2012 at 03:48 PM
I would have just thrown up in his lap. That might send a message that he would understand. :)
TimeForChange January 03, 2012 at 03:53 PM
Example: A $10,000 car would be a steal at $6,000. I have $1,000 and money is tight and I am already in debt for other expenditures. Does it make sense for me to go into more debt ($5,000) just because a deal came my way? NO, IT DOES NOT!
TimeForChange January 03, 2012 at 03:56 PM
Then write a personal check to them and we will be fine with that.
TimeForChange January 03, 2012 at 04:00 PM
You forgot to trash Mr. Toth in this statement. You're slipping.
TimeForChange January 03, 2012 at 04:02 PM
Love it!
Daniel Nee (Editor) January 03, 2012 at 04:14 PM
Well, yes and no. The difference with the Brick park is that it would NOT be free. So in that sense, it would be paid for by user fees and, hopefully, generate revenue. That's the plan, at least. I've heard numbers that both support and dispute the idea of profitability, depending on who you ask and, often, which side of the fence they are on politically.
George January 03, 2012 at 04:45 PM
Good points to look at Reality we can't afford more unecessary taxes in this day and age.
Concerned Brick Citizen January 03, 2012 at 04:47 PM
WHOIS.COM will not always post the owners info. if the owner of the domain pays the small annual $12 or less fee for private registration. It keeps the telemarketers and spammers away.
Concerned Brick Citizen January 03, 2012 at 05:04 PM
Concerned I agree. Traffic will be an issue. Mantoloking Road really needs to be 4 lanes. Years ago there was a plan to declare eminent domain to widen the road. Business owners and others were once notified. Widening this roadway would again be the best thing regarding any area improvement. When Parkway 89 opened there was a noticeable increase in traffic due to the direct shore route. Once it opens in both directions in 2014… It will be worse. The other big problem is the backup on RT 35 which holds up the works. That problem will never go away as more people head to the shore. Traffic Light?
Another Bob January 03, 2012 at 05:41 PM
Bulkhead material appears to be 6063 t-5 aluminum as listed on the original bid form. The attaching fasteners are 304 stainless steel. I was surprised to see these materials being used given their acceptability to galvanic corrosion which would be even more accelerated by the saltwater environment. Why wasn't vinyl or composite sheeting used like most other bulkhead projects on the bay?
nan January 03, 2012 at 06:01 PM
It is amazing how this article devolved to mudslinging. My major problem is the dirty po(litics)ol is shoving through the spending bills without legitimate reason instead of waiting until today or next week. That was EGO and Arrogance. This is the first reorganization meeting I have missed since coming to Brick. The actions taken on Dec 30, 2011 were as bad as the October mudslinging mailer. I do not at this time have an opinion on what is best at Trader's Cove because I have not heard the arguments. For some arguments in this context mean discussions or debates if you will. I have spoken to all the new Council members and take them at their word they will work in the best interests of Brick. To do so they need to evaluate the evidence they are given and that they hear. If we do not stop thinking in terms of us against them (whoever us is and whoever them is) we will fail to have a town worth living in. No one has all the right answers. No one is infallible and that includes the Pope of the Catholic Church who is only infallible when he speaks 'ex cathedra'. Check how often that has happened.
Another Bob January 03, 2012 at 06:23 PM
Bulkhead material appears to be 6063 t-5 aluminum as listed on the original bid form. The attaching fasteners are 304 stainless steel. I was surprised to see these materials being used given their acceptability to galvanic corrosion which would be even more accelerated by the saltwater environment. Why wasn't vinyl or composite sheeting used like most other bulkhead projects on the bay? I aggree with Bob and would like to know which Engineer at Birdsall Engineering did the specs and was corrosion given any consideration.
Bob January 03, 2012 at 06:26 PM
Looks like "Another Bob" has confirmed my fears.....I find it hard to believe they would use aluminum and stainless together......It'll probably need replacing in 5 years! We really need that expense....NOT!
Bob January 03, 2012 at 06:32 PM
I wonder just who supplied the aluminum & SS fasteners?......anyone in our local government connected to industrial hardware or the aluminum industry supply chain?
Concerned Brick Citizen January 03, 2012 at 06:46 PM
Speaking from experience… Birdsall Engineers are PERFECT and infallible! They can do no wrong! If the bulkhead quickly erodes and fails they will never be the ones at fault and will continue to practice. They would rather point the fingers and insult laypeople instead of taking blame for a mistake.
Concerned January 03, 2012 at 07:09 PM
Traffic light at the very least. I really hope that the new council gets a good look at all of the proposals and contracts before anything is decided upon.
Daniel Nee (Editor) January 03, 2012 at 07:50 PM
Mantoloking Road is a county road, so it'd have to go through them.
Another Bob January 03, 2012 at 07:56 PM
Heres a thought! Did all the scrape materials, cut offs and aluminum pieces filter back into the project funds or did they just disappear? Aluminum at recycle yards is big $!! Remember the junk scandal at the public works yard a few years ago.....
JHill January 03, 2012 at 08:07 PM
It's so nice of us Brick residents to build this park that will be OVERRUN by the residents of Lakewood. Wait till you pull up with your family to enjoy a nice day at the park and see people wearing pants and suits walking around the water park and littering all over the place. Think I'm kidding? Go to Manasquan Reservoir or Lake Shenendoah park. Those people have trashed the parks. A hundred unsupervised kids running around and trash all over the place.
JHill January 03, 2012 at 08:10 PM
It's so nice of us Brick residents to build/pay for this park that will be OVERRUN by the residents of Lakewood. Wait till you pull up with your family to enjoy a nice day at the park and see people wearing pants and suits walking around the water park and littering all over the place. Think I'm kidding? Go to Manasquan Reservoir or Lake Shenendoah park. Those people have trashed the parks. A hundred unsupervised kids running around and trash all over the place. You people have no idea what you are in for once this park opens to the public.
JHill January 03, 2012 at 08:28 PM
They will sub it out to a real contractor and pocket $500,000 dollars--happens all the time.
JHill January 03, 2012 at 08:35 PM
They will subcontract it out to a company they deal with and pocket the difference. As long as the work is done there is no problem but they are on the hook for any problems.
bobwire January 03, 2012 at 09:48 PM
There is no doubt a perfect storm of galvanic and electrolytic corrosion will be present with an aluminum sheeting in salt water. Backfill of organic materials,some AC stray currents,undoubdtly aggressive and destructive DC currents from boats. WOW. Life expectancy is not long. This site can will a study class on what metals not to use in saltwater, with AC and DC currents available to accelerate corrosion. In corrosion lingo we speak of metals wasting,we can say the same of money invested,just wasting away!!!
C January 04, 2012 at 12:19 AM
Amen.
Dawn Marie White January 04, 2012 at 04:34 AM
Progress in Brick Must Not Stop. Projects take time to get through the necessary state agency approvals. Keep this project moving forward do not let it get tied up in politics......
Denny D January 04, 2012 at 07:37 PM
That is a rationalization. How's the FoodTown(sale?)(development?) moving forward? Maybe we'll find out the TRUTH now. As far as anything else in concerned the Town Council calls the shots not the Mayor.
Lori Morrison January 04, 2012 at 11:37 PM
There are many facilities already in town for rent. The VFW, American Legion, Firehouses and First Aid Buildings. These are all non-profit organizations that have hall rentals to help raise funds. There is no need to go to Toms River.

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