FREEHOLD – The Borough Council in Freehold Borough has approved an increase in a contract for the construction of sidewalks that is part of a project that was selected by residents and business owners to receive municipal funding.
During a recent meeting, council members approved an increase of $1,416 in the contract that was previously awarded to MNC Concrete, Waretown. The initial contract amount of $182,416 will now be $183,832.
According to a resolution approving the change order, the increase was made because field conditions dictated additional quantities of sidewalk construction and removal.
Residents who have participated in the sidewalk repair/reconstruction program will still be invoiced for 50% of the value of work performed along their property, according to the resolution.
The repair and reconstruction of sidewalks was one of the projects selected by residents and business owners to receive municipal funding as part of the council’s first participatory budgeting initiative in 2017.
Residents and business owners had the opportunity to vote for projects they wanted municipal officials to undertake.
The sidewalk replacement program was proposed by Lynn Reich and Christine Gregory. The cost of a repair will be divided between the borough and the affected homeowner, with the homeowner’s consent.
The other projects residents and business owners selected through the participatory budgeting initiative were the construction of a pedestrian bridge near the Lake Topanemus dam and the addition of street lights in the borough’s downtown area.
The proposed pedestrian bridge near the Lake Topanemus dam, which is in Freehold Township, but owned by Freehold Borough, received approval from the Freehold Township Planning Board in 2018.
According to Roger Kane, chairman of the Lake Topanemus Commission, the pedestrian bridge has been ordered. He said the commission’s members hope to have the bridge completed in the near future.
Freehold Borough officials have said the goals of participatory budgeting are to directly involve residents in the budgeting and borough-building process; to foster civic engagement and community spirit; and to help ensure the town’s capital plan reflects the priorities of residents and stakeholders.