Colts Neck awards bid for road improvements


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By Peter Elacqua
Staff Writer

COLTS NECK – The Earle Asphalt Company has been awarded a contract in the amount of $828,313 to complete road improvements in Colts Neck.

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Members of the Township Committee took the action on May 11.

When the matter came up for discussion, Committeeman J.P. Bartolomeo said a resident asked him why certain roads are selected for capital improvements.

Bartolomeo said Township Engineer Glen Gerkin examined Colts Neck streets during 2015 and developed a list of streets that he believed needed the most attention.

Mayor Thomas Orgo, Director of Public Works Edward Thompson and Girkin graded those streets from worst to best and combined those grades into a list of the 10 worst roads in Colts Neck.

Officials said the project will see improvements made on Muhlenbrink Road from Phalanx Road to Laird Road; on Laird Road; on Fireside Drive; on Spruce Lane; on Seedling Drive; and on the rear portion of Big Beech Lane (575 feet).

Officials said Laird Road was not selected through the grading system, however, Colts Neck received a grant to conduct work on Laird Road and a condition of the grant was that it had to be completed during the first phase of the road improvement plan.

In other business, the committee adopted an ordinance to purchase equipment. The ordinance states Colts Neck has $406,550 available in its capital improvement fund and will use all of that money to purchase various equipment.

Officials will spend $136,000 to replace four Colts Neck Police Department vehicles (two patrol cars, the chief’s vehicle and a pickup truck).

Other purchases are: $55,050 for additional police equipment; $47,000 for a Ford F-350 truck for the Department of Public Works; $40,000 for building improvements (includes the cupola at town hall and an ADA compliant ramp at the courthouse/police business); $23,000 for turnout gear and a high-pressure breathing air cascade system for the fire department; $20,800 for computer, printer and copier upgrades for all departments; $20,000 for a mower; $20,000 for minor road repairs to complement the road improvement project; $17,000 for security improvements in town hall and the municipal court; $15,000 to replace the fuel pump keytrol system at the public works yard; $6,500 for sidewalk replacements at the first aid building; and $6,200 for a dual band portable two-way radio for the emergency management officer.

The ordinance was adopted with Orgo, Bartolomeo, Committeeman Russell Macnow and Deputy Mayor Michael Fitzgerald (by phone) voting yes. Committeeman Edward Eastman was absent from the meeting.

During the public comment portion of the meeting, resident Jeff Sauter, who is the brother of Colts Neck Police Chief Kevin Sauter, took issue with documents associated with Macnow that were presented during a recent disciplinary hearing that focused on Kevin Sauter’s travels to a police convention outside New Jersey.

Certain documents that were introduced during the disciplinary hearing indicated Macnow did not know about the police chief’s trip outside the state, while other documents that were introduced appeared to show Macnow approved the trip. The possible discrepancy was questioned by an attorney representing the police chief.

“If those allegations (about the conflicting documents) are true about Committeeman Macnow falsifying or lying on that certification, then I would expect his resignation as a committeeman,” Jeff Sauter said.

In response, Macnow asked Sauter if he was asking for his resignation, to which Sauter replied no.

After a heated exchange between the two men, Macnow asked Sauter to sit down. When Sauter refused to do so, Macnow excused himself. That left Orgo and Bartolomeo as the only committeemen on the dais and the meeting was adjourned due to the lack of a quorum.

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