Spotswood council rejects sole bid for DeVoe Lake dredging project

VASHTI HARRIS/STAFF

SPOTSWOOD–In the latest step toward rehabilitating the municipality’s DeVoe Lake, the Borough Council approved a resolution rejecting a submitted bid for DeVoe Lake Dredging Phase I.

The council and mayor had previously authorized the borough clerk to advertise for the receipt of sealed bids for Phase I in accordance with specifications filed in the office of the borough clerk, according to the council.

One bid was received on Sept. 1, opened and read aloud, according to the council: Mount Construction Company, Inc. of Berlin, New Jersey, with a base bid of $5,555,531.

The sole bid greatly exceeded the available funding for the DeVoe Lake Dredging Phase I, according to the council.

On June 5, 2019, the council approved a resolution authorizing officials to execute a $2.5 million grant contract with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) for the restoration of Devoe Lake.

“Through the years, silt and sediment have built up to a level that allows the water foliage to grow at such a rate of speed the lake is overrun within months. It also limits the amount of water that can be retained, which ultimately affects the flood plain both up and downstream,” Mayor Edward Seely had said during the Oct. 7, 2019, council meeting.

The grant will facilitate the borough’s ability to have the lake dredged, alleviating future flooding.

Via correspondence on Sept. 1, CME Associates recommended the bid be rejected and that the borough be authorized to re-advertise the project again, according to the council.

Borough Engineer Bruce Koch said he talked to a few of the bidders or those who picked it up, as well as the sole bidder, and they said the costs were related to disposal.

“So we’ve been in touch with the Middlesex County Utility Authority, and it looks very promising for the materials to be able to go there,” Koch said, “so we’re recommending that be rejected and we put it right back out with that provision in the document.”

The council approved the resolution authorizing the bid from Mount Construction Company Inc. be rejected on Sept. 9 during the council meeting via video conference.

Councilman Ted Ricci asked Koch, since the borough only received one bid, what the likelihood is that if the council rebids the project, it will get more than one bid or the same company bidding the same amount.

“We did talk to the fellow who bid, who said there was about $3 million in disposal. So he said if that was to go to the landfill he’d be in our target range,” Koch said. “So to another bidder who hadn’t been adjusted the last minute decided not to submit it but in speaking with him, he seemed interested in rebidding or bidding.”

 

Contact Vashti Harris at vharris@newspapermediagroup.com.