Government

Council Discusses Administration and Regulations of Grant Projects

221d7d5abcb83c3b61a6_Redtape.jpg
221d7d5abcb83c3b61a6_Redtape.jpg

NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - Although federal and state grants are welcome perks for funding many needed projects, the borough is facing strict and often costly requirements on how those projects are managed. The Borough Council discussed some of the “red tape” mandates at its Monday, April 24 meeting.

The issue came up when Councilman Jim Madden read a resolution for a change order for additional $12,500 to cover inspection services by Suburban Consulting Engineers, Inc. The original bid package was approximately $28,000. He expressed his concern regarding potential inspection costs. He calculated that the additional cost could reach $100,000. The inspection cost will come out of the borough’s pocket as according to regulations grant funds can’t be used for inspections.

“I’ve found that when dealing with a federal grant of this type, the regulations associated with the bidding of the projects, awarding the contracts and execution of the project are onerous, Borough Administrator Doug Marvin said. “For example, a full-time inspector is required whenever a contractor is performing the work. Generally speaking, these inspectors charge $80-$100 per hour. For each day the project is underway, the inspector costs can be in the range of $600-$800 per day. In addition, the engineering firm that designs the project cannot perform the inspections, which require additional contracting for those services,” he explained. Moreover, “all plans must be reviewed and approved by the State Department of Transportation (DOT) and all facets of the project must meet or exceed the latest federal regulations. Whether you’re installing a sidewalk or rebuilding the GW Bridge, the same standards apply.”  The borough is also required to have a responsible employee to actively manage the project. 

Sign Up for E-News

The borough received a $245,000 federal grant for pedestrian safety enhancements in the downtown area. “The scope of the project was to include pedestrian safety improvements as well as what we called “phase 2” of the streetscape project. We designed the bid specifications to include work beyond the pedestrian safety grant as alternate bids so we could award different phases of the project based on how much each phase cost and what we appropriated for the overall work.  We felt that we would benefit from an economy of scale with a larger project,” Marvin explained.  However, the borough soon found out that the overall project would “fall under onerous federal regulations.” If the borough separated the alternate work out, it wouldn’t fall under the same inspection requirements – thus reducing the project costs. 

New Providence is also about to receive $460,000 from the Department of Transportation for the Safe Routes to School program. However, the borough has not received all details on this grant yet. When it comes to the strings attached “I would suspect that design costs and inspection costs associated with this grant will be in the $100,000-$150,000 range,” Marvin said.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

New Providence

Free Living History Event Showcases World War I Centennial

April 19, 2018

The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders invites residents and visitors to experience battlefield life as a World War I American Salvation Army volunteer, featuring Ms. Laurie MacDonald-Gaulke, actress and storyteller, in a special free presentation of “Doughnuts for Doughboys: A Salvation Army Lassie in France.”

Doughnuts for Doughboys takes place on Tuesday, April 25 at ...

Lunch & Learn: 'Israel at 70: Its Meaning and Value in Jewish Identity' with Professor Kenneth W. Stein Apr. 22

SUMMIT, NJ - For four decades, Kenneth W. Stein has taught Middle Eastern History and Political Science at Emory University. His scholarship focuses on the politics of the modern Arab world, American foreign policy toward the Middle East, modern Israel, and the Arab-Israeli negotiating process. Stein earned awards at Emory for excellence in teaching and life-long mentorship of ...

Thank You, St. Joseph's Volunteers

April 16, 2018

Thank You from St. Joseph Social Service Center

In recognition of National Volunteer Week, we would like to express our gratitude to the countless volunteers that serve the poor and homeless at St. Joseph Social Service Center in Elizabeth (http://www.sjeliz.org).  Whether you make a sandwich, collect toiletries, tutor in the job program, make soup, wrap Christmas gifts, donate food, ...

The Role of Meal Replacements in Weight Loss

April 6, 2018

Obesity is at epidemic proportions in the United States and in other developed and developing countries. The prevalence of obesity is increasing not only in adults, but also in children and adolescents. We all know that obesity is a significant risk factor for various chronic illnesses, most importantly heart disease and diabetes, but also cancer and osteoarthritis, liver and kidney disease, ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_7f6c107703df2d416aa6_barre_intesity

Fri, April 20, 8:00 AM

Providence Health and Fitness, New Providence

Barre Intensity

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_7b4ac10bfb421f5091c7_vinyasaclass

Fri, April 20, 9:15 AM

Providence Health and Fitness, New Providence

Vinayasa Flow

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_a4801a3d56342db1596a_pilates_reformer

Fri, April 20, 10:30 AM

Providence Health and Fitness, New Providence

Pilates Reformer

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_604a2d1056492309ccd0_social-post-spring-camp-1080x1080

Fri, April 20, 2:00 PM

My Gym New Providence, New Providence

Spring Camp at My Gym New Providence

Arts & Entertainment Education Health & Wellness Other Sports

Sat, April 21, 9:00 AM

Green Village

Indoor Flea Market

Arts & Entertainment