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Would-Be Contractor to Brick Council: Reconsider Traders Cove Vote

VP of Stoneridge Aquatic Construction says company already invested in project

The vice president of the company that was awarded a bid to complete construction of a splash park, pump house and bathrooms at the Traders Cove site says the company has already invested money in the project, and urged council members to reconsider a later vote that rescinded the bid award.

Randolph Seitter, vice president of Stoneridge Aquatic Construction of Feasterville, Pa., penned a letter to council members last week asking them to reconsider a Jan. 3 vote that rescinded the $643,200 bid awarded to the company Dec. 30. A Republican-led council Dec. 30, but a Democrat-led council after being sworn in and taking a majority.

Councilman Dan Toth, a Republican, put forth motions Jan. 3 to rescind not only the bid to Stoneridge, but a larger, $3 million bid to complete construction on the larger park site. Only the smaller bid was rescinded, however. Township attorney Jean Cipriani said at the time that rescinding either bid could lead to litigation.

"We did incur costs and had expected to be awarded the project which would have allowed us to recover some of those initial costs," Seitter said in his letter.

Seitter said his company's bid was "considerably lower" than other bids for the same project, and included the construction of restrooms for the park, which are required to be installed before it can open to the public. He also said, as township officials have asserted for some time, that the splash park could generate revenue for the township.

"I think that they jumped the gun," said Mayor Stephen C. Acropolis, referring to the council's action to rescind the contract.

Acropolis said Toth, by offering up the motion to rescind, "rushed to undo a legally binding contract."

Toth said that for him, voting to rescind the splash park vote had to do with the troubled economic times.

"In these troubling economic times, it would not be financially prudent to take on another project that 'may' be a revenue stream," Toth said in an e-mail. "Even so, what many fail to speak about when they talk about revenue streams are the sometimes-greater expense streams, which can easily throw a project into the red."

Toth said the talk of no bathrooms being at the site was "grocery store fodder" and bathrooms are still planned for the park. Grant money is available to assist in paying for the bathrooms to be constructed, he added.

Acropolis maintains the subtraction of the splash park was wrong move.

"I thought it was the right time to do a splash park," he said. "That was the revenue component."

But Toth said for him, it also came down to the fact that he did not see support for the splash park in the community.

"If economic times were better, the majority of the taxpayers may have been more receptive to a splash park, but most are more concerned with their local officials being able to keep their taxes stable so they can afford to live in Brick Township, especially after the recent referendum and revaluation drastically adjusted property taxes throughout town," he said.

Council President John Ducey also agreed that abandoning the spray park idea was in the township's best interests.

"The difficult economics that we have are forcing everyone to make difficult choices," Ducey said. "During these trying financial times it would not be fiscally prudent to build a waterpark at the taxpayer's expense."

ShoreSureySure January 17, 2012 at 05:29 AM
So the former mayor did it singlehandedly? Seems to me that there was no opposition from any council member in 2003 - mr acropolis included. in fact the article is pretty clear that mr acropolis was criticizing the mayor and council for not discouraging the plan. seems the blame for the foodtown should be spread more than you are doing.
Fred Gee January 17, 2012 at 06:59 AM
Neither do we need nor can we afford a splash park. We have beaches and playgrounds/parks. Roll back part of our taxes instead!
Jerseyclone January 17, 2012 at 02:27 PM
The contractor should read his contract closely because if ordered material and equipment prior to the execution of the contract, prior to shop drawing/catalog cut approvals and etc., etc. I hope he enjoys it for lunch because he looses and eats it. He better cancel orders now. In addition, the cost associated with the operation and maintenance will not be offset by the income, I do not care what "Scotty Boy" says or his side kick Deluca. Nobody talks about traffic nightmare this will create when it is open. Plus the benefit to the taxpayers of brick will be minimal because of its location. The lakewood faction will luv it if it is free.
Concerned Brick Citizen January 17, 2012 at 03:23 PM
John C. The Church you are referring to is St. Thomas Lutheran Church. I am a member of the congregation and Joe Scarpelli and family where never members. He was however a big supporter of the St. Thomas Christian Academy (grades k through 8) which is located there. The concerns were over noise traffic, pollution and the safety of the children. The first intention was for the property to be used as a community/activity center. Never to become what M&M has planned.
Concerned Brick Citizen January 17, 2012 at 03:59 PM
Art... I knew all the Church and School employees at that time. I also like a good mystery. The former Mayor and the Pastor had a good relationship. I don’t think there was anything inappropriate happening between the lone female church employee who was a good friend of mine if that is what you are assuming. It could have only been with a person working for the academy who would have no influence or power. The concerns about the proposed Home Depot was not just about the Church and School. It was also about the environmental impact to the Metedeconk and excess noise and traffic to the residential areas around the church. The employees and church members did and still park their cars there as we were giving permission.
Concerned Brick Citizen January 17, 2012 at 04:07 PM
The current location is much better for Home Depot. It is secluded(doesn't bother anyone) and has three entrances and exits. I think there would have been problems and concerns had it been placed on the Foodtown property. You can bet it was less expensive for Home Depot modify the old Costco building and not have to deal with CAFRA.
Will Watcher January 17, 2012 at 04:07 PM
Funny how the new majority was going to save us. Didn't they approve 3,000,000 in spending on TC? They cut 600,000 great but spent 3,000,000! Just great. Our great democrats.
Will Watcher January 17, 2012 at 04:18 PM
I heard the church was going out to look for JANETorial services.
bths06 January 17, 2012 at 04:19 PM
WIll Watcher do you mean the $3,000,000 in spending that the former council already approved on 12/30?
Art Sholty January 17, 2012 at 04:25 PM
OK Concerned, I take your word, probably the academy.
bths06 January 17, 2012 at 04:26 PM
From a previous post from Mike Thulen: "...the contract can be reduced 20% without any problems." Then why not when you were on the council did you not reduce it by 20%? It there would be no problems then why did you not do it, instead the previous council decided to stick it to the taxpayers and make them spend more money then what could have been cut out without any problems.
IGGY January 17, 2012 at 04:49 PM
Good thing we didnt buy the ice rink
Mike Thulen January 17, 2012 at 05:04 PM
The change order would have to been done after the contract was signed. You have seen over and over again change orders appoved by the previous council lowering the amount of the contract when the project was completed.
Art Sholty January 17, 2012 at 05:52 PM
Mike T. all these grumblers have an attorney named Joe Lamb, Esq.
Joseph Lamb January 17, 2012 at 06:09 PM
Dan, the redeveloper won't be making the payments directly for the debt, the town will. But this doesn't address my point. The point is if the Standard pays Brick $2.5 million, that is built into the stream of revenue to Brick which lessens what would otherwise be paid to Brick. Standard is not paying Brick without taking this into consideration. Brick incurs $23.5 million in debt. If anything the $2.5 million should be used against the principle so Brick only incurs $21 million in debt. Don't get me wrong, I'm against this agreement because I don't want Brick to incur any debt. Let the developer take it on. I don't want the Township taking on someone else's risk.
Joseph Lamb January 17, 2012 at 06:16 PM
Dominick, Mayor Scarpelli may have wanted to buy Foodtown but Councilman Acropolis was for it as well. I have the original articles, not copies from the newspapers.
Joseph Lamb January 17, 2012 at 06:20 PM
Mike, there is no such account. There is none on the balance sheet. Stop telling people something that is not true. These past payments went into surplus and the Acropolis Team wiped out the surplus.
Joseph Lamb January 17, 2012 at 06:22 PM
Mike, the budget for 2012 isn't made up yet. Why would you say the $2.5 million is already in the budget? That may be the plan and that will be wiped out as well but we'll have $2.5 million more in debt than we need.
CShorShell January 17, 2012 at 06:49 PM
John C... I am in the construction industry and deal with public bids on a regular basis. If the contractor was only awarded the project on the 30th, only to have it rescinded the following day, the only costs he would have had incurred would be the cost of bidding on the job. Which might I add, EVERY contractor that bid on the project that lost the bid would have had to absord the exact same costs. This is all part of the risk a contractor takes when bidding on a job. Some time you win, sometimes you lose. That's the nature of the beast. There is absolutely NO way he could have begun to order supplies....and he he had that was his own stupidity.
CShorShell January 17, 2012 at 06:56 PM
In a public bid, the day of the bid opening each bid is read out loud. At that time you then have an "apparent low bidder." The bids are then reviewed in detail, making sure that the all the bids are comparing apples to apples, review of the contractor's qualifications occur, etc.
CShorShell January 17, 2012 at 07:05 PM
The contractor is most likely talking about the costs he incurred for bidding on the project. This is normal. Every contractor that bid on the project incurred some sort of cost. Honestly, it couldn't have been a lot of money.....and I say this as someone who's in this industry. The contractors have to buy the construction drawings and specifications. So what we're talking about anything from $100 - $1,000. The contractor gets prices from his subs.....at NO expense. I really can't understand what this contractor is complaining about. Long before a contractor even begins to order supplies, he has to submit the shop drawings and product submittals for the architect's (if there is one) and/or engineer's review and approval. This does not happen over night. In most cases it's a couple WEEKS before a contractor is able to get started on a job. There is a whole process that occurs long before they begin breaking ground or bringing in the bulldozers.
John C January 17, 2012 at 09:17 PM
ConcernedBrickCitizen, I am aware of the name of the Church, I intentionally left it off the post. Also I did not say that Mayor Scarpelli was a member of the congregation, I said a very active and prominent member of the church was a member, and was opposed to the Home Depot. And yes George thank you for mentioning that, I am sure the residents on Forge Pond Road were also against the Home Depot.
Mickey January 18, 2012 at 12:07 AM
Art, still waiting for your reply if you plan on questioning Toth at a Council Meeting with all your assertions and put him on the spot.....or continue unfounded/unproven allegations ?
Gary January 18, 2012 at 02:11 AM
The Foodtown property is really a joke.....from the time the township got involved to stop homedpot til now.....Homedepot received $1,000,000. to back out, and was promised the old costco property....no problem there, and then this M&M corp. another joke....did the new costco parking lot with bad soil remember that, and then he buys the trailer park....what was his plan there.....and now the same person is buying the foodtown property with no real plan.....I hear all these figures and the bottom line is the township lost money......
Gary January 18, 2012 at 02:16 AM
M&M who is this.....? its like Krista-Shay.....remember all those building, poping up all over town......There is alot of crooks in Bricktown....lol....And the jobs they receive....motor vehicle jobs, dca jobs, housing authority....ITS UNBELIVABLE...LOL
knarfie January 18, 2012 at 01:47 PM
Gary, Agreed. But it's not limited to the township level. Look at the rip-offs, no show jobs, etc, from County level to State reps.
George January 19, 2012 at 11:28 PM
Art did you ever get your job in town hall.
Marie Thrunk February 29, 2012 at 02:29 PM
I do and so do many of my friends and their families. Aparently you do not want to go fishing, or crabbing in a nice area. Or let your children play together in a safe enviroment. Its comments like this that screw it up for everyone else.
Marie Thrunk February 29, 2012 at 02:34 PM
I'm with you Brian, we need to get as many people together and fight this. It is not fair. Most of us are just finding out about this. I know 100's of people that were looking forward to this park this summer. It makes me sick.
Marie Thrunk February 29, 2012 at 02:39 PM
I believe we received a grant from the state for most of the park. Yes I agree that the schools need updated, but this park could have been a wonderful asset for this town. Adding value to your home. What is wrong with you people? I think its wonderful that they Mayor wants to make our town a better place. And how easy is it to always blame the previous council? Your like a child blaming someone else. Taxes go up, so does the cost of everything else.

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