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Brick School District Will Pay for Project Plans, But No Guarantee Projects Will Happen

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The Veterans Complex in the Brick school district. (Credit: Google Maps)
The Veterans Complex in the Brick school district. (Credit: Google Maps)

Brick school board members voted to completely deplete a capital reserve account Thursday night to pay to plan for projects that have no guarantee of being completed any time soon.

The district awarded about $250,000 in no-bid contracts last month to engineering and architectural firms to create plans for reconstruction of the Veterans Complex parking lot, the Brick Township High School east parking lot reconstruction project, a roof replacement at the Warren H. Wolf Elementary School and a proposed Brick Township High School track rebuilding project.

At previous meetings, there was no mention as to how the planned projects would be funded, leading a resident, George Scott, to rise to the microphone at Thursday’s meeting to question to prudence of spending the planning money now.

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“You’re going to spend this money in advance, but according to what [board member] Mr. Barton said, you don’t know which ones you’re going to afford,” Scott told board members. “Why go ahead and spend $250,000 without advertising them first.”

All four of the contracts were so-called “no-bid” contracts that were awarded to pre-selected contractors working for the district. By law, the physical construction work would have to be competitively bid.

James Edwards, the district business administrator, said spending the money on planning services ensures that the district will be able to complete the projects if they are affordable.

“We want these vendors to move ahead with these services, so if not done this summer, they can be done the following summer,” said Edwards.

The district has yet to introduce its final budget for the 2017-18 school year, so it is unknown whether or not any of the planned projects will be included in the spending plan. Officials did not comment, in either direction, as to what the final, proposed budget will include.

The planning services depleted the $240,334 that remained in the capital reserve account, said Edwards, and the remainder of the money to pay for the services would come from elsewhere.

“If we’re going to have anything done for this summer, we have to have the process in place and move on it immediately,” said Barton, defending the vote.

 


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  • Beach N8iv

    “All four of the contracts were so-called “no-bid” contracts that were awarded to pre-selected contractors working for the district.” Just let that sink in.

    • john talty

      You are Right! No bid contracts are political paybacks for $$ given by those Contractors to most members on this BOE. Taking Money from a Capitol account for projects that may not even be accomplished, is in my opinion just a Bad decision pushed by Mr. Edwards, (Business Administrator) and voted on and agreed by the vast majority of BOE members, who I suspect don’t really know what they did? Mr. Barton appears you have not learned to much being on this BOE.

      • Mac

        Then again, one might think he has learned a lot and is just covering his mistakes. I mean, what public official in Ocean County would leave a quarter of a million dollars in taxpayer funds on the books at the end of the day? That’s political bacon, and if you don’t spread it out correctly, you’re political career ends at the political contractors’ next BLT luncheon.

  • Surfrider

    They knew of these projects they wanted for some time now, and waited last minute to pull these last minute ploys for “no bids”, which should be part of the bidding process to get the best price they can to get the best bang for their buck, instead deplete an account to move forward and wait, plus “grease” their favorite cronies who will do the engineering. The bidding process helps keep everything more on the up and up as well and out in the open.

  • Chief Wahoo

    Now you see why everyone tries so hard to get elected to a non paying job. Pay to play is alive and well in Bricktucky. Paying with your money , they get to play with their toys. Keep grazing sheep. Keep grazing. Property taxes are going higher and foreclosures are up as well and WW 3 is heating up on the world stage. But don’t worry , all is well.

  • Smokin

    Why no bids ?? What’s going on here who got the jobs ??? Just don’t sound good …

    • Mac

      and it usually turns out to be like it sounds, but sometimes we get lucky and find out we are incorrect for a pleasant change of pace