By Matthew Sockol
MILLSTONE – Bids for the initial work on a planned 186-acre recreation facility in Millstone Township have been rejected by the Township Committee.
On July 6, the committee members passed a resolution rejecting 10 bids that were submitted for the first phase of the development of Millstone Park on Red Valley Road.
Officials said the first phase of the park’s development will involve site work and grading, the construction of a park building and the installation of lighting on three general purpose fields. The bids that were submitted ranged from $4.2 million to $5.9 million.
As stated in the resolution, the bids exceeded the township engineer’s estimate for the work. Township Engineer Matt Shafai estimated the cost of the work at about $3 million, according to municipal officials.
According to the resolution, the scope of the first phase of Millstone Park’s development will be reconsidered.
The property where officials want to develop Millstone Park was purchased by the township in 2008 with the intention of creating a new recreation facility.
Mayor Bob Kinsey discussed the first phase of the project at a meeting of the governing body on April 6 and at a meeting of the Planning Board on April 13.
According to Kinsey, Millstone Park will have nine general purpose fields which can be used by any sports program. In the first phase, lighting will be installed on three fields, with lights planned for three adjacent fields in a later phase.
The planned infrastructure work on the lighting of the first three fields will eventually allow lighting to be installed on the adjacent fields without destroying the surface of the fields, the mayor said.
The building would have restrooms and a kitchen serving facility, but no stoves, according to the plan discussed in April. Cooking will be provided by a portable food cart which will be placed adjacent to the building as needed.
Kinsey said using a food cart means officials do not have to file a treatment works application with the state Department of Environmental Protection for the park’s septic system.
Other features at the park are expected to include a trail that can be used for walking, jogging and horse riding, and a boat-accessible pond that can be used for fishing and irrigation, according to Kinsey.
At present, the only location that is accessible to boats in Millstone Township is Perrineville Lake on Sweetmans Lane.