• Joseph F. Berenato

Town plans roadwork


Several infrastructure projects were discussed at the February 24 meeting of the Public Works and Transportation Committee (PWTC), held via Zoom teleconferencing software. (Courtesy Photo)

HAMMONTON—Several infrastructure projects were discussed at the February 24 meeting of the Public Works and Transportation Committee (PWTC), held via Zoom teleconferencing software.


Engineer Richard Hall of Adams, Rehmann and Heggan Associates (ARH) began the meeting by giving on update on the work to be done on Vine Street and School House Lane.


“Those bids were received, and we made the recommendation for Think Pavers to be awarded that at the next meeting. That bid is for just over $1 million,” Hall said.


Mayor Stephen DiDonato had a question regarding the scope of the project.


“Does that include a new drain near town hall, where we have that pothole situation? Another inlet there, to take care of that water? You know where the side door of town hall is? We’re having all the water laying there from in the past,” DiDonato said.


Public Works Manager Robert Vettese responded.


“I think there’s an inlet being placed there. We’ll have to check the plans ... The other thing is in case we needed any kind of onsite stormwater storage for the new parking lot. That allows the tie-in to that inlet that would be left there,” Vettese said.


Hall said that bids for roadwork on Valley Avenue were also received.


“The Valley Ave bid was also recommended to be awarded to Think Pavers; that bid also is approximately $1.2 million. There were a total of seven bidders for that project,” Hall said.


Vettese noted that the town had been awarded $310,000 for that project from the New Jersey Department of Transportation (DOT).


DiDonato said that another section of roadway in Hammonton, Union Road, is in need of improvement.


“I would like to do the whole stretch, just mill and overlay. There was some talk of going from Basin to 206, prior to, because of the bend, you should adjust some guardrail and different things ... I’d like to do the whole thing, from Basin all the way to Middle and be done with it—all except the bridge that the county owns, but both sides of the bridge and these two roads,” DiDonato said.


Councilman Steven Furgione inquired as to procedure.


“What do we do? We award Valley and School House Lane, and then get enough money to cover us to mill and overlay Union, from Basin to Middle?” Furgione said.


Hammonton Business Administrator Frank Zuber replied.


“We have to put a bond in place, and the down-payment money because we have to put five percent down, so we have to do that,” Zuber said.


Furgione asked Vettese for a cost estimate to mill and overlay Union Road, and Vettese replied that he has already worked on them.


“I’ll take a look at it, and maybe compare it to the prices we just got for the roadway programs and then make adjustments to those,” Vettese said.


Furgione then asked if the contracts could be awarded at the February 28 meeting, contingent on funding.


“You have to have two readings and the estoppel period, so you’re looking about 80 days,” Zuber said.


Vettese commented further.


“Valley Avenue will be contingent on DOT review, too, and the solicitor’s got to review the documents, so it’ll be those three items. The one for School House will be subject to [solicitor Michael] Malinsky’s review and the funding being certified ... the other thing would be to see how much money we had left over from prior years’ road programs,” Vettese said.


Zuber said that the amount left over was $8,069.50.


DiDonato said that the cost of materials was still high and showed no signs of lowering.


“Unfortunately, I’d like to say, it’s coming down, but, in light of today and all, everything’s going north, boys. Everything’s going north,” DiDonato said.


Councilman Sam Rodio agreed.


“Nothing’s coming back down. Forget it. It’s only going to go north from here. We thought it would get less; it’s not going to be less. We’re in a new world,” Rodio said.


Councilman Edward Wuillermin echoed the sentiments of his colleagues.


“I think you all are right. The cost of this stuff is going to go through the roof given what’s happening today. It’s just nuts,” Wuillermin said.


DiDonato noted the importance of awarding the contract as soon as possible.


“We have to award Monday night somehow, because, if not, these guys are not going to hold that price, and I don’t blame them. They’re going to run like hell, like the building’s on fire. We have to award Monday night, contingent to financing, have the first reading and, if we have to, have the second reading and try to get it done, but if I’m the bidder on this job, after today, I’m running like hell like my house is on fire ... pipe, fuel, everything else is going up,” DiDonato said.


Furgione concurred.


“Let’s award Monday night, contingent on funding,” Furgione said.


Also in his report, Hall said that bids for Hammonton Lake Park were received on February 23.


“Again, Think Pavers was the low bidder. That number is $227,645. There were six bidders for that; we’re going to make the recommendation to award on Monday, contingent upon funding and approval from the DCA [New Jersey Department of Community Affairs],” Hall said.


Zuber said that funding is already in place for the project.


“We have $440,000 total, and I think the equipment’s around $150,000, so funding is good,” Zuber said.


Hall said that the price of the bid covers “a small portion of the proposed playground in the master plan.”


“There were, I think, four blueberries; this is one blueberry. It’s a poured-in-place material; it’s like rubber. It’s a pervious-type material. We’re coordinating with them and the equipment height to make sure we’ve got to right surface for those requirements,” Hall said.


Hall also gave an update regarding the Octagon Oil site.


“We did get the permit fee check from the town yesterday, so we’re completing that submittal and getting the remediation submittal over to the DEP [New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection]. Then, we’ll have a follow-up once the DEP reviews that,” Hall said.


Hall then discussed water main work to take place during the repaving of Route 54.


“We’re looking to get maybe some easements to push the water main out on the roadway. That would save the town a good chunk of money if we’re able to get some easements and save on repaving costs there,” Hall said.


Vettese explained further.


“We talked about possibly making some minor revisions to the plans, and having some public input or having a public meeting, just for informational purposes, possibly on November 7 and 8. We’ll need someone from ARH there to see what the preference is,” Vettese said.


Vettese also discussed work scheduled to be done at the tennis courts.


“You authorized us to take bids for paving courts at the school—the tennis court—so we can determine what actually is going to be needed, improvement-wise, on the two-court section, and possibly the four-court section. We sent out price quotes; we got three responses back. The low quote was from Colliers Engineering & Design of $2,750. We’re looking for action by council on Monday, and that would be subject to cost-sharing with the school,” Vettese said.


Later in the meeting, Furgione said that Municipal Utilities Superintendent Anthony DeCicco received a price quote from Mumford Bjorkman Associates regarding the Fourth Street water tower.


“It’s $73,000 to design and inspect, and do the daily inspection if we’re going to do the Fourth Street tower. It’s something we can talk about next month. They gave us an estimate of $1.6 million to do that work. One, can we afford it? Two, if we can afford it, when would we do it? Ideally, you put the specs out by early summer, and have this work start sometime in maybe late September and be done before the holidays,” Furgione said.


Furgione gave a breakdown of the services included in the quote.


“This is for a complete design, inspection services, the whole deal ... Technical specs and bidding services, $8,000. Tank and coating consultation, 40 hours, $8,000. Then, a full-time painting inspection, 60 days is $57,000. We just need to figure, is this something we want to tackle in 2022 or 2023,” Furgione said.


Before the conclusion of the meeting, Vettese noted that he had been asked to contact SJG Environmental Manager Ken Sheppard “related to a report for water.”


“He was supposed to get back to me; he did not get back to me yet. I think we wanted him to appear for 15 minutes, just to give a general overview of the water at the Lincoln Street site. I’ll check with him today ... if he’s available to come this council meeting or the March council meeting. I’ll let you know,” Vettese said.


Furgione said that if Sheppard was unavailable to contact someone from GZA GeoEnvironmental, Inc.


“We want to go over the test results and where we are with the contamination,” Furgione said.