Franklin Lakes October 14, 2009 THE VILLADOM TIMES I • Page 7 Bids for building facelift authorized by divided council by Frank J. McMahon A divided Franklin Lakes Council has authorized Borough Administrator Gregory Hart to obtain bids on a project that will change the appearance of the front of the municipal building on DeKorte Drive and add barrier-free improvements to the recreation center. The council voted 3-2 to proceed with the bid process. However, all the council members, save Nathalie Lota, who was absent, expressed some concern about the design for the front of the municipal building, where the deteriorating slate would be removed and replaced with an Americans with Disabilities compliant concrete entrance with ADA compliant sidewalks and a concrete path leading to the recreation center. Councilman Michael Friscia and Councilwoman Paulette Ramsey voted against going out to bid until their concerns about the design are addressed. Friscia specifically pointed out that the plans call for the diagonal sidewalks to spread out wider than the width of the building, and they cannot be shortened without raising the slope of those walkways to an unacceptable level. The council 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 additional grants in the future. The Bergen County Office of Community Development awarded two grants to the borough for barrier-free improvements several years ago. One was for $32,000 in connection with the construction of a proposed restroom facility for the municipal field area behind the municipal building and the second was for $118,820 for improvements at the municipal building and the recreation center. Earlier this year, the council passed a resolution approving the transfer of the $32,000 grant for the restroom facility to the municipal building and recreation center building project, and to indefinitely postpone the proposed restroom project in the field area. That transfer will result in a total of $150,320 that will be available for the municipal building and recreation center projects. The municipal building project calls for all the existing slate to be removed along with the existing steps. The entrance area would be raised, and the columns shortened. The new concrete entrance would 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 would extend straight forward to the flagpole, which would be surrounded by a rectangular area of concrete, and two other walkways would extend diagonally to the left and the right leading to the sidewalk. The project also includes new front doors for the municipal building with barrier-free door openers and a renovation of the bathrooms in the municipal building to make them ADA compliant. According to Borough Engineer Kevin Boswell, the parts of the project that would not be covered by the grants will result in a cost of approximately $5,000 to $10,000 to the borough. He had previously estimated a cost of about $18,000 for professional engineering services. Franklin Lakes Superintendent of Schools Dr. Roger Bayersdorfer will present two sessions of the October public forum. The evening meeting will be on Monday, Oct. 14 at 7 p.m., and the day session will be Tuesday, Oct. 15 at 1 p.m. Both meetings will take place at the Franklin Avenue School forum scheduled Middle School. The revised school website will be featured. Public meetings have been scheduled throughout the year to provide parents and residents with opportunities to learn about the K-8 schools and the events held during the year. 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