19 Aug 2014
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Cary Africk: Stop The Edgemont Morass

Former councilor says this project must move forward—and now.

Cary Africk: Stop The Edgemont Morass


For the third time, the Township Council has rejected bids for the construction at Edgemont Pond because the cost estimate was exceeded.

From the beginning this project has been mishandled. Mistake after mistake has been made, going on for four years. A Green Acres Grant is funding the project, and we’ve been unable to even spend other people's money!

This is also the third time that the town has looked to refurbish the pond. The first two were failures. This one is headed in the same direction.

Perhaps eight years ago the pond was drained and THEN a bid request was sent out. A budget of $250,000 had been set up. The bids came in three times that amount. The pond stood empty for a year until the administration decided to do "whatever $250,000 would buy, " i.e. nothing.

This is similar to the first attempt perhaps 15 years ago. The pond was simply refilled.

This time we had the money, secured by former Township Manager Joe Hartnett.

The project was put out to bid for an engineering firm to prepare an RFP. I looked at the proposals. The least qualified, least experienced one was chosen.

They prepared an RFP for construction, which was sent out.

A winning bidder was chosen. In reviewing their proposal I discovered the he had bid the wrong materials because our purchasing department failed to send him the right specification update.

We re-bid and the project came in $20,000 over the $800,000 budget. We rejected that bid. How in the world did we do that? $20K could have easily been found!

Then we came up with the idea of testing the sediment, hoping it would come out contaminant-free and we could re-bid and get a lower price.

We did and came in with dramatically higher bids. This where we are now.

Other mistakes compounded the situation. Failing to apply for permits in a timely fashion, failure to send in payment for permits, etc., etc.

Since the grant was given to us about four years ago, we've had to renew it twice.

All the above was sent to the current Township Council by me, and the only one responding was Councilor Robin Schlager who, after questioning Township Manager Marc Dashield last night, got a simple response from him: “don’t worry.”

It’s time to move this project forward.

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