WEST ORANGE, NJ — Following a closed discussion at its meeting on Tuesday, the West Orange Township Council publicly voted 4-1 to approve a resolution authorizing the township to retain CME Associates to prepare a traffic study as part of an ongoing declaratory judgment litigation case related to the township’s affordable housing obligations.

According to the council, the main focus of the study would be in the area around the Highlands at West Essex, where affordable housing units would be part of a large number of high-end apartments that would be built there if the courts approve the plan in litigation.

Councilman Joe Krakoviak, who was the only council member to vote against the resolution, said he did so because CME Associates was the only company to bid on the job ($5,500 to prepare the study). Krakoviak requested that other companies be allowed to bid on this job.

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Council President Susan McCartney indicated before going into closed executive session that it was important to get the study done relatively quickly to resolve the litigation issue. This was the prevailing view of the council when the vote was taken after the executive session briefing.

Krakoviak pointed out that another resolution being adopted at this meeting shows the importance of getting competitive bids on all jobs. This resolution authorizes a contract to the firm PS&S to provide professional services for plans, specifications, as well as bid documents and contract and grant administration for three emergency electric generators funded by a grant from the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management.

He said the initial fee that was put forth to do this job was $99,000 before he insisted that there be bidding on this job. The approved fee for this job went down to $47,500, saving the taxpayers more than $50,000 on this job alone.

To read more from this meeting, where local senior citizens urged the council to address senior transportation issues, click HERE

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