Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

New Milford Hires Builder for Police HQ

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

New Milford Hires Builder for Police HQ

Article excerpt

A company has been hired to build a police station in New Milford despite concerns that its limited experience in construction could lead to cost overruns on the nearly $4 million project.

Totowa-based Two Brothers Contracting Inc. submitted the lowest of 13 bids for the project, at $3,942,000.

The next lowest bid, at $4,486,000, was submitted by Fuscon Enterprises Inc. of Westfield.

Robbie Conley, architect in charge of the project, which has been in the planning stages for more than three years, estimated it would cost $4,615,618.

The Borough Council at its regular meeting on Aug. 22 passed a resolution, by a vote of 4-3, to hire Two Brothers.

A group of police officers, including Police Chief Frank Ramaci, gathered in the rear of the council chamber to see it go through.

As has been the case with almost every vote having to do with the project, the Aug. 22 vote was along party lines, with Republican Mayor Ann Subrizi casting a tie-breaker.

"There are predictions of disaster on all fronts, but no one has a crystal ball for these things," Subrizi said.

"I think this is just another attempt to stop at every turn," she added, referring to comments Democratic council members had made. "I feel like we've been thwarted on this for years."

No more delays

Borough Administrator/Clerk Christine Demiris said there would be no further delays. A preconstruction meeting was held Thursday.

Democratic Councilwoman Hedy Grant led a discussion prior to the Aug. 22 vote. She said it would be "irresponsible" to hire Two Brothers, arguing that the company had never completed a major construction project.

"I'm not sure I'm happy having them cut their teeth on our tax dollars," Grant said.

To hire Two Brothers, Grant said, would be like throwing "good money after bad."

"There's going to be so many change orders," Grant said, "that it's going to be way over [$3,942,000]. And, we're going to be sitting here, just signing checks."

Grant's sentiments were shared by former Democratic Mayor Frank DeBari and former Democratic Councilman Michael Gadaleta, an architect who has voiced criticism of the project's design. …

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