SOMERSET, NJ - After passing a flurry of bond ordinances last night residents will see roads paved, the pool at Naaman William’s Park repaired, new water mains and pipes, and work started on the long-anticipated community youth center on Lewis Street.

The council also awarded a bid to DeSantis Construction for $66,848.25 to clear the parking lot for the youth center. Clearing the parking lot will start in June and is expected to be finished by the end of that month.

Bids for the construction of the youth center are due to the township on June 14 with the expected award date for the bid being June 25.

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Township of Franklin PURCHASING – BID Opportunity: Franklin Township Community Youth Center 

But before any construction gets started, there could be some design changes coming to the youth center.

After talking to local kids about the center and showing them renderings of the planned structure, many children thought it looked like a school because of the colors of the building.

Councilwoman Kimberly Francois, who’s been the driving force behind the project, announced that the township will hold a color selection contest to get children involved in deciding the color scheme of the youth center.

“They gave us a lot of input on the design of the building, so I’m very anxious to see what kind of things that they come up with,” said Francois. “We want to get the youth more involved in the project itself.”

“Be careful,” replied Mayor Phillip Kramer.

The $61 million budget passed in April will fund the projects approved at the meeting.

By passing the bond ordinance to fund the fixing of Naaman Williams Pool, the township cleared up the unusual situation of awarding a bid for a project without having the money specifically allocated for it.

With the awarded bid for repairs coming in higher than the original amount allocated by the township, the council had to pass an amendment that added $50,000 to the initial price tag – raising the cost of repairs from $110,000 to $160,000.

On top of paying for road repairs and repaving throughout the township, the council passed an ordinance that requires public utilities – like PSE&G – or anyone else digging up roads to do a better job of repaving.

“We’re doing this to make sure we don’t have the patchwork we are used to,” said Councilman William Galtieri. “And also to help enforce that, especially on newer roads, if there is some sort of work that needs to be done it’s restored to the new condition that it was in.”

The council also passed on first reading an ordinance that will increase the deposit required to set up a temporary water meter, which is typically connected to a nearby fire hydrant during construction.

The ordinance will be up for a final vote at the council meeting on May 28.

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