CLARK, NJ – During Monday night’s Special Council Meeting, Mayor Sal Bonaccorso said the town received bids for the new police headquarters, council chambers and court building.
The bids ranged in price from $8.7 to $12.5 million. This is the second round of bids to the town as the first round exceeded initial cost projections of an architect working on the design with town officials.
At numerous town council meetings, Bonaccorso has described the building as a single level 15K square foot box with no unnecessary frills. He also said that due to many federal, state and county requirements, some costs are just a condition of construction.
“This building is a bare-bones necessity building...no glamour…it will fulfill the needs of this community,” said Bonaccorso.
He explained there are many requirements for how the building must be constructed and adapted for ADA compliance. He also said it needs to comply with regulations of the Department of Justice/Corrections.
Bonaccorso said if the construction could be done privately, the town could save between $2 and $3 million. He blamed former Governor McGreevey for creating a “political rat trap” by instituting prevailing wage legislation in a “lust to run to the unions and try to make sure everybody gets the same amount of money.”
Bonaccorso reminded residents he suggested a new building only after several contractors assessed the state of the current police headquarters and estimated it would cost $4 million to update the building. According to Bonaccorso, those upgrades did not include the millions it would take to move the entire PD staff into trailers and to house a specialized trailer for dispatch and communications during renovations that could have brought even more unknown expenses once walls were opened in the old building.
The mayor said a new building is necessary at this stage in Clark Township history. “If you don’t think it’s a need you are just a pompous ass, that doesn’t want to look at reality and I’ll tell that to anybody,” said Bonaccorso. “I’ll take anybody through that building, you saw the pictures we put on TV.” Bonaccorso was referring to his presentation at the July 15 council meeting when he highlighted the conditions of the current police headquarters.
Bonaccorso said the bid for $8,771,410 is expected to be awarded at the November 18 Town Council meeting to G&P Parlamas from Neptune, NJ. Bonaccorso has said in numerous township meetings that the town can bond the project over twenty to thirty years. He said taxes won’t go up because the town pays off enough of its debts every year.
“We’re paying off three million dollars a year in debt service. In the meantime, if you think about all of the miles of roads that we did, all the equipment we bought for this town, the new Library and the two-turf fields…you never heard us come to you at a meeting and say taxes went up this year because of debt service,” Bonaccorso said during the July 1, council meeting.
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