Monmouth freeholders approve emergency repairs at county jail


The Monmouth County Board of Freeholders have awarded an emergency contract to Unitemp Inc. for the replacement of six McQuay rooftop units for the Monmouth County Correctional Institution, Freehold Township.

The freeholders took the action during a meeting on June 25.

According to a resolution, between May 1 and June 1, six rooftop heating, ventilation and air conditioning units at the Monmouth County Correctional Institution failed and are no longer repairable due to age and an inability to locate replacement parts.

The freeholders said the failure of the equipment necessitated inmates being relocated out of four pods in the maximum security facility due to the associated health and safety concerns pertaining to temperature and airflow, and the resulting relocation is maximizing the capacity of inmates in the remaining pods.

According to the resolution, Unitemp has already been cleared to work at the jail and any further delay would result in additional health and safety concerns.

County Administrator Teri O’Connor approved the work that was needed on an emergency basis and recommended that a contract be awarded to Unitemp for the purchase and installation of two Dakin 25-ton rooftop units and four Dakin 16-ton rooftop units at the jail, according to the resolution.

The emergency contract is in the amount of $486,380 and the funds are available in the 2020 budget.

In other business, the county is expanding its inventory of open space by purchasing land on Strickland Road in Freehold Township for additions to the Manasquan River Greenway.

The freeholders passed a resolution authorizing the acquisition of two lots totaling 8.75 acres known as the Arbeitman property at a cost of $420,000.

The Monmouth County Board of Recreation Commissioners deemed it necessary and advisable to acquire and preserve the land for open space preservation, natural resources conservation, and public park and recreation purposes, and recommended the purchase of the properties, according to the resolution.

The offer of purchase has been accepted, but is contingent upon a satisfactory title review and environmental review of the properties, according to the resolution.

The funds for the purchase are covered under the Monmouth County Open Space,
Recreation, Floodplain Protection, Farmland and Historic Preservation Trust Fund.

According to the Monmouth County Park System website, more than 480 acres along the Manasquan River have been acquired by the park system and are now protected in their natural state. The preserved open space provides river access for fishermen and boaters with canoes and other small water craft.

Navigating sections of the river may be challenging and/or require numerous portages due to natural obstructions and fluctuating water levels, according to the website.