Page 4 THE VILLADOM TIMES I • December 23, 2009 Franklin Lakes Borough hall improvement contract awarded by Frank J. McMahon LKL Contracting has received the contract for improvements at Franklin Lakes Borough Hall that include barrierfree work that will change the appearance of the front of the building and barrier-free improvements at the recreation center building. The borough council made the award to LKL, which submitted a base bid of $108,540 with four alternatives that will total $132,190. Two members of the council, Paulette Ramsey and Michael Friscia, voted against the motion to award the contract, which resulted in a tie vote as Councilwomen Nathalie Lota and Leslie Greer voted for the award. Mayor Maura DeNicola, who then had to vote to break the tie, opted to vote in favor of the contract. The vote was taken after a closed session of the council following a regularly scheduled work session. Councilman Brian Trava was absent from the meeting. Councilman Steve Marcus was not at the meeting when the vote was taken. Ramsey said she voted against the contract award because there is a possibility of litigation over the manner in which the award was granted, and she does not believe the ultimate cost to the borough will justify the expense. Friscia said he voted against the project because it will create an expense to the borough over and above the grant money, and because he has concerns about the design of the project. The project is being considered by the council because the borough received two grants totaling $150,320 from the Bergen County Office of Community Development for barrier-free improvements several years ago. Earlier this year, the council passed a resolution approving the transfer of that grant money to the municipal building and recreation center project. The bid process has not been smooth. The borough advertised for -- and opened -- bids in October. TMR Associates, the borough’s consulting architect on this project, provided a review of the bids by letter in which a representative of that company indicated that there were defects in the two apparent low bidders’ proposals. Therefore, the borough council rejected the bids of the two lowest bidders because of the defects, which could not be waived or be cured, and awarded the contract to the apparent third lowest bidder, Alpine Painting & Sandblasting Contractors, for a total contract amount of $144,763. The second lowest bidder, LKL Contracting from the Borough of Ramsey, was rejected because that firm failed to submit a list of subcontractors. But subsequent to the adoption of the resolution awarding the contract, TMR Associates advised the borough council that there was an error in the bid review letter and the bid submission of LKL Contracting was not, in fact, missing a list of subcontractors and the remaining defects in the LKL Contracting bid submission could be waived or cured according to state law. The council then repealed the contract it had awarded to Alpine and awarded it to LKL Contracting at a base bid amount of $108,540 with four alternatives which total $132,190. One bid submission requirement in the LKL bid was waived and the other requirement to submit a list of current projects and equipment was cured by the submission of those documents after the bid was submitted. The borough’s chief financial officer has certified that there are sufficient appropriations to fund the purchases authorized by the contract award resolution, and Mayor DeNicola and Borough Clerk Sally Bleeker were authorized to sign the contract documents necessary to effect the award of the contract. When the council authorized the bid process in October, the governing body was also divided and voted 3-2 to proceed with the bid process even though all the members of the council expressed some concern about the design of the plan for the front of the municipal building. Deteriorating slate will be removed and replaced with an Americans with Disabilities compliant concrete entrance with ADA compliant sidewalks and a concrete path leading to the recreation building. Friscia and Ramsey voted against going out to bid for the project and the rest of the council -- excluding Councilwoman Nathalie Lota, who was absent -- also expressed concern about the appearance of the plan, but decided to proceed with the bid process to protect the grants the borough has received, and the borough’s potential consideration for future grants. In addition to the removal of the existing slate at borough hall, the project calls for the removal of the steps. The entrance area will be raised and the columns will be shortened. The new concrete entrance will be extended to the full width of the front entrance to the building with three barrier-free walkways to the sidewalk in front of the municipal building. One walkway will extend straight to the flagpole, which will be surrounded by a rectangular area of concrete. Two other walkways will extend diagonally to the left and the right leading to the sidewalk. The project will also include new front doors at the municipal building with barrier-free door openers and a renovation of the municipal building bathrooms to make them ADA compliant. According to Borough Engineer Kevin Boswell, the parts of the project that will not be covered by the grants will result in a cost of approximately $5,000 to $10,000 to the borough. He previously estimated a cost of about $18,000 for professional engineering services.