Firm hired to supervise conversion of building to new town hall in Freehold Borough

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FREEHOLD – Members of the Borough Council in Freehold Borough have authorized professional assistance for a project that will see an office building on Mechanic Street converted to the location of Borough Hall, police department headquarters and the municipal court.

On Jan. 19, council members authorized a professional services agreement with Abbington Engineering for supervision of the new Borough Hall at 30 Mechanic St. The services are in an amount not to exceed $15,000.

At present, Borough Hall is on West Main Street and the police department and municipal court are in the Rug Mill Towers on Jackson Street. The Mechanic Street building was being used by the Monmouth County Probation Department.

According to the resolution, representatives of Abbington Engineering will provide supervision and oversight of the renovation and retrofitting of the Mechanic Street building.

Borough officials began taking direct action to acquire the Mechanic Street building in 2020, although discussions regarding moving Borough Hall from West Main Street date back to 2017 when the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA) presented a draft concept for a transit village around the Freehold bus station at the corner of West Main and Throckmorton streets, near Borough Hall.

In 2018, a partnership of business owners and property owners in the borough, known as KFM Partnership, LLC, recommended moving the municipal building to a new location.

The individuals involved with KFM Partnership believed moving Borough Hall would open up property around the bus station and provide an opportunity to generate revenue for Freehold Borough by creating additional space for a developer who might bid on the NJTPA’s plans proposed for the bus station.

In 2020, Borough Council members authorized a $3.33 million contract to purchase the Mechanic Street building. The rear of the building faces Mechanic Street and does not provide public access. Public access is provided from a parking lot off Mechanic Street.

In other business, council members authorized a professional services agreement with Mott MacDonald for water and sewer engineer consulting. The services will be provided in an amount not to exceed $10,000, according to a resolution.

Council members authorized a professional services contract qurg Millennium Strategies, LLC, to provide consulting services for grant writing in an amount not to exceed $43,500. The cost includes an annual fee of $36,000 with a contingency for an additional $7,500 for certain Federal Emergency Management Agency and other submissions as required, according to a resolution.

And, the council awarded a professional services contract to Shelterwood Forest Managers, LLC, to provide forestry consulting services in an amount not to exceed $5,000.