Mantoloking boro hall finally gets go-ahead
Groundbreaking will end five years of debate and delay
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MANTOLOKING — Close to five years after Superstorm Sandy, work is about to get underway on the new borough hall.
The original borough hall building was heavily damaged during Sandy in late October 2012 and borough hall offices have been in temporary quarters on Drum Point Road in Brick since.
Last Friday, Feb. 10, Mantoloking officials received a Notice to Proceed from borough attorneys signaling the borough’s contractor, Wallace Brothers, to begin work on the new borough hall.
“Now we have 344 days ... Wallace has 344 days, to complete this project starting last Friday,” said Council President Lance White at the agenda-setting council meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 14.
According to an update posted on the borough website, Wallace has already done significant pre-construction preparation, obtaining permits, materials and the necessary drawings and studies.
Councilman White said that all but one of the necessary permits are in place. He explained that Wallace did all this work without a Notice to Proceed, which is highly unusual and was a little bit of a risk. However, it appears the risk is paying off.
“Now that we have the ability to start, we can move quickly depending on the weather and things that might come up,” said Councilman White.
According to the borough’s update, the design and build and communications committees will be providing regular updates on the project. If residents have any questions, they can contact Councilman White or members of the committees.
During this week’s agenda setting meeting, Councilman Steve Gillingham presented a packet on behalf of the Finance Committee recommending to the mayor and council that Mantoloking proceed with a bond issue as soon as possible.
According to the information presented, a bond issue to finance the replacement of the municipal building in an amount up to $5.5 million was authorized by municipal ordinance approved on May 17, 2016.
On the advice of the municipality’s financial advisors, the finance committee decided it would be in the best interest of the municipality to sell a bond issue to finance only the cost of construction of borough hall less the anticipated amount of the FEMA grant and the 19 prior capital improvements currently funded.
As previously reported, the borough had been negotiating with FEMA over the amount of compensation the agency would approve for the rebuilding, which borough officials estimated would cost $4.1 million, while FEMA estimates fell far short of that figure.
The current funding includes Wallace Bros, Inc. contract for $4,176,980 plus, soft costs of $205,944 and anticipated to completion of $189,788 plus, contingency for change orders and other anticipated costs of $500,000, less projected FEMA reimbursements of $1.2 million plus 19 prior improvement authorizations totaling $2,755,000.
Based on these calculations the total bond issue would be $6,627,712, according to Councilman Gillingham. No decisions have been finalized based on these recommendations.
After several years of delay and negotiations over reimbursement, borough officials can look forward to breaking ground on the new building soon.
“We’re trying to arrange groundbreaking for a week from today, before the council meeting, if we can get Wallace and Bob [Sibilia, project manager] to be there as well,” said Councilman White.