Jul 30, 2014

Moorestown Council Approves Additional Payment for Library Portion of Town Hall Project

Who will pay that fee, which could be $18,000, remains unclear.

Moorestown Council Approves Additional Payment for Library Portion of Town Hall Project
For several weeks, township officials have applauded the opening of the new town hall, which they say opened “on time and under budget.”

However, there’s still some money to be paid on an additional month of work on the complex as a whole, and a decision as to who will pay that bill is still up in the air.

Moorestown Council held its first meeting in a town hall since 2007 on May 19.

Attached to the town hall is the new library, which is nearly complete.

According to Township Manager Scott Carew, the inspection for the library is scheduled for Friday, and it may open as soon as Monday.

This will put the library opening behind schedule by just days, but is part of the reason Greyhawk Construction has remained on the job for an extra month.

Greyhawk and the township agreed to an hourly rate on the $11.4 million contract, with May serving as the expiration of the contract.

With the physical work extending into June, Greyhawk requested additional compensation, not to exceed $18,000 for the month, which falls in line with the rest of the contract.

Council approved that change order by a 3-1 vote Monday night. Mayor Chris Chiacchio was absent.

Councilman Phil Garwood was the only member of council who voted against the change order, expressing a belief that the Library Board of Trustees should pick up the tab for the extra month.

“Greyhawk has proven their worth getting the building done on time, and I have a hard time punishing Greyhawk,” Deputy Mayor Stacey Jordan said Monday night.

Councilman Greg Newcomer said the township should see the contract through to the end, and Councilwoman Victoria Napolitano said that while they need to see the contract through to the end, she agreed the township shouldn’t take on the full cost for the extension.

Additional work is being done on the town hall, but council approved a $43,000 change order to cover those costs Monday night.

Carew, who also serves on the Library Board of Trustees, raised the issue at that body’s meeting Wednesday night, requesting the library pay for half the extension.

Trustee Sandra McGuire expressed concern that the township shouldn't pay the extra money because she feels the contractor should be held responsible for the work extending beyond the finish date. She also expressed concern that paying the extra money here takes away from the library's ability to fund programs for the community.

With the final amount for the change order not yet determined and township council approving the additional funds on Monday, the board as a whole agreed to see what the township would request before agreeing whether to take on the additional cost.

Since the work is funded by a bond ordinance that can be paid over a 20-year-period, it is possible the board could pay hundreds of dollars a year.

“When we get the final proposal, then we’ll decide,” Board President Glen Walton said.

The furniture for the library has arrived and is being installed, according to Library Director Joseph Galbraith.

The township is also determining what to do with the old library, which Carew says would cost between $3 million and $5 million to bring up to code if the township wished to consider it for another use. It would cost between $280,000 and $300,000 to demolish.

While it’s all but certain the building will be demolished, it is unclear what would become of the space after that.

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