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Council Briefs: Township Supports High School Helpers Program

The council approves changes in the costs of several projects.

What follows is an account of actions taken on Dec. 17 by the Bridgewater Township Council, which, while not breaking news, are still of note.

Council approves grant for Newcomers Club

The council unanimously approved a resolution to accept a grant from the Somerset County Youth Services Commission for the Newcomers Club at the Bridgewater-Raritan High School.

The grant is for $5,000.

According to township administrator James Naples, it is a mentoring club at the high school where current students are assigned to new ones to help them get acclimated to the high school.

“It is very helpful, and having the youth services commission fund is great,” he said. “The money is for group meetings and two stipends for the teachers.”

Foothill Road phase 3 project finishes

The council unanimously approved a resolution to authorize a change order concerning the improvements to the Foothill Road phase three project, as it is completed.

The payment is made to Stilo Excavation, and requires a decrease in costs from $236,822.47 to $225,061.72.

According to the resolution, fewer materials were needed than were originally planned.

Billian Street improvement costs increase

The council approved a resolution that increases the costs of repaving, curb and drainage improvements for the Billian Street improvements, done by Stilo Excavation.

The costs have increased from $189,969.69 to $191,495.48.

According to the resolution, additional items were needed to complete the construction.

Change order approved for Vosseler Avenue improvements

Despite one vote against, the council approved a resolution for an 11 percent increase in costs for road improvements on Vosseller Avenue through Reivax Contracting Corp.

The costs increased from $540,587.50 to $603,900.06.

According to the resolution, additional materials were needed, including a concrete slab for additional reinforcing of the guiderail.

But councilman Filipe Pedroso questioned why this wasn’t included in the original contract.

“Why did they not determine everything before they gave an estimate?” he asked. “It seems like they should have looked at the guiderail first.”

Township administrator James Naples said that, in these projects, contractors often can’t see the additional work needed until they get started.

Council president Allen Kurdyla said it is especially hard to determine these costs on Vosseller Avenue because of the way the road curves.

“It was a major project and rebuild of that section,” he said. “It doesn’t seem unreasonable.”

Councilman Howard Norgalis agreed.

“I understand the amount increase is substantial, but these kinds of things do crop up,” he said. “Reynolds is a respected group acting on behalf of the township, and I think it’s appropriate based on the description we received.”

Pedroso opted to vote against the approval.

“I am not passing judgment on whether or not it is needed, I just think we need more information,” he said.

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