One week after considering a delay, the Orangetown Council voted unanimously Tuesday to award the Oak Tree Road Bridge Replacement contract to Persistent Construction of Fairview, NJ, which was the lowest qualified bidder at $1.59 million.
Orangetown has a $1.2 million grant in place to put toward the project, but project to need approximately $700,000 before all is done.
"We checked the references of the lowest bidder," said Joe Moran, Director of Orangetown's Department of Environmental Management and Engineering during a workshop discussion of the project Aug. 6. "Their references checked out well. They did similar bid projects in Bergen County. The prices were consistent with this kind of work. Right now is how to and if we are going to fund the shortfall."
That was the reason for the delay, the hope that the town could get more grant money in place before approving going ahead with the project. There was never any question about going forward with the project at some point. Stephan Munno of the Orangetown Highway Department said it was "not a want. It's a need."
Orangetown Supervisor Andy Stewart expressed interest in waiting on that at the workshop, but by Tuesday's regular meeting, he said he didn't see any more reason for delay.
"I think it's a very good project that (Highway Superintendent) Jim Dean and Joe Moran put forward," Councilman Denis Troy said. "It's a very old bridge. It's a key intersection."
"We have to go forward because we can't afford to lose this ($1.2 million) grant," Councilman Tom Diviny said. Orangetown Finance Director Jeff Bencik recommended the town go with a bond anticipation note to fund the rest of the project, meaning a short term loan from the bank for money the town would eventually bond for.
"We have to pay for the whole thing up front and get reimbursed," Bencik said.