Council Considers Clark Pool Concession Bids

Councilman Bill Smith, second from left, discussed the two bids received for the Clark Pool concession stand contract. Credits: Susan R. Bonnell
Members of the council listen to Business Adminstator John Laezza's explanation of the ground water monitoring well ordinance. Credits: Susan R. Bonnell

CLARK, NJ – Two competitive bids received for the Clark Pool concession contract were a hot topic during Monday night’s council workshop meeting.

As reported last week, the council had discussed the two submitted bids at their February workshop meeting.  One bid, submitted by the pool’s previous concession vendor, would pay the township approximately $7600 while the other bid would bring in approximately $11,000.

There were concerns at February’s meeting that the vendor with the higher bid had not visited the site nor could their menu be accommodated within the size and equipment constraints of the facility.

Sign Up for E-News

Business Administrator John Laezza explained that the low bidder has since submitted a formal complaint to the township, challenging the high bid as it did not meet all the qualifications of the bid specification.  This complaint was sent to the township’s attorney, Joseph J. Triarsi (Triarsi, Betancourt, & Wukovits, LLC), for review, Laezza said.

Triarsi reviewed the specification and complaint and made a determination that was read Monday night by his associate, Howard Lesnik. 

“The specifications authorize the pool utility to waive any informality …. that is not detrimental to the best interest of the township,” Lesnik read. He explained that in this case, the council in its authority as the pool utility, could waive the concern that the high bidder had not done a site visit if they felt it was not detrimental.

“We investigated all the references of the high bidder,” Laezza said.  “He meets all the criteria and qualifications.  He was inspected by our health officer.  His menu is the same as the original menu.”

Councilman Bill Smith, who serves as the council's recreation department liaison, said the previous vendor, who also submitted the lower bid, has run the concession stand without issue over the last three years.

“The pool advisory board was very happy with them," Smith said.  "The management was happy with the current company.  We had all intents and purposes to continue going forward until the bid went out and we received the other bid.  Now it’s in our hands to decide what to do with it.”

Smith went on to say that everything that has been offered in the past will still be available on the menu submitted by the higher bidder.

“I have to make the right decision for the taxpayers,” said Smith.  “And it’s a significant sum of money.” Smith recommended the council move forward with the higher bid. 

Councilman Brian Toal offered a motion to put the contract out to bid again, but his motion did not receive a second.

Laezza said the downside of going to bid for a second time is that the high bidder could come down, ultimately giving the township less income from the contract.

Chris Pandolfo and his wife Andrea Nocks, the pool’s concession vendors for the past three years, were in attendance Monday evening and spoke to the council during public comments.  Pandolfo said that before they began running the concessions for the pool, the pool may have had only two or three parties each season. 

“Now some weekends they are having 2, 3, 4, 5 parties; that may be 30, 40, 60 people, a majority of which are not pool members.  So, that’s pool fees,” Pandolfo said.  “And they specifically account that to the way that we run the stand and how easy we make the food and the setup.  I don’t think you are going to gather the same experience from the higher bidder.”

“I think there’s more to consider than $4000,” Nocks added.

“It’s not a matter of the quality of work that you did or additional revenue that we made,” Council President Angel Albanese said.  “We went out to bid in a fair and open process.  And by law we are bound by the requirements to accept a certain bid unless there was some error.” 

The council moved to accept the higher bid for the concession contract.  The council will hold its final vote on the matter at its March 20 public council meeting.

In a subsequent Letter to the Editor, Pandolfo outlined his position and asked for public support before the council makes its final vote. 

At the March 20 meeting, the council will also vote on a proposed ordinance to amend and supplement Chapter 310 of the township’s code entitled “Streets and Sidewalks.”  Laezza explained that the amendments are to include the definition of monitoring wells as well as the permit process and responsibility that is included with placing them.  Monitoring wells are used to monitor the quality of groundwater and detect any seepage of contaminants.

---------------  is Clark’s official electronic news source and the only free daily paper. 

Reach our local readers, advertise your business here, email


TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Kumpf Students Creating Works of Art!

May 22, 2018

CLARK, NJ - Students in Mr. Baker's Life Skills Class at Carl H. Kumpf Middle School recently participated in a special art lesson joining Mr. Peitz’s class. The students worked on free hand drawings using pictures they chose.  Some of the pictures included a lion, a dog, cat, and a video game character. Students also worked with ceramics creating art ...

Video Shows Woman Ripping Off Tip Jar at Westfield YESTERcades, Manager Says

May 21, 2018

WESTFIELD, NJ — Footage from security cameras at YESTERcades of Westfield shows a woman stealing the new game fund/employee tip jar from the counter at 2:10 a.m. (closing time) Sunday morning, according to manager Fred Logue, who shared screenshots of the video.

There was probably about $70 in the jar at the time, according to Logue, who said he reported the theft to Westfield ...

I totally Support Garwood Mayor Lombardo and His Team

May 22, 2018

A lot of people call me the “Voice of Garwood” because I usually have a lot to say. Those who know me know I only say things that I mean and that are truthful. I totally support our current mayor, Charles Lombardo, and his running mates, Jennyfer and Vincent, because I believe in them, and they are truthful. I would appreciate the people of Garwood coming together to re-elect Mayor ...


AtlantiCast: Episode 15

On this week’s AtlantiCast, learn some important tips for controlling and avoiding diabetes from an Atlantic Health System expert, see how Atlantic Health is advancing cutting-edge research, hear what’s being done to keep health care environmentally friendly and much more!



Jun 29, 1927 - Apr 23, 2018
Margaret (Peggy) Kirk Leonard passed away Monday, April 23rd, surrounded by her loved ones. Peggy ...
Read more

NJ American Water Working to Replace Water Mains in Clark

May 16, 2018

VOORHEES, NJ – New Jersey American Water plans to replace roughly 1,200 feet of water main lines in Clark according to a notice released on May 16.

The document indicates the company is replacing main along Georgian Drive, from Ross Street to Sherwood Circle that was originally installed in the 1930s.  Two hydrants and 29 utility-owned service lines along the pipeline route will ...