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Township Committee will fund upgrades at Middletown Arts Center

MIDDLETOWN – The members of the Township Committee have awarded a $431,000 contract to a company that will undertake renovations at the Middletown Arts Center, 36 Church St.

During a meeting on Sept. 6, committee members passed a resolution awarding a $431,000 contract to George Koustas Painting and Construction, West Long Branch, for  renovations at the arts center.

According to the Middletown Arts Center website, the facility is facing revenue loss and is in need of $165,000 to cover operating costs.

Deputy Mayor Rick Hibell said the arts center was damaged by a flood and was affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

“The arts center has experienced some hard times with COVID-19, and without having space downstairs it is more difficult for them to operate,” Hibell said. “I hope to see (the renovations) done in six months. It’s a good thing to get (the arts center) going and operating the way they should be.”

In other business, the committee members authorized the purchase of two 2022 Ford Bronco Sport SUVs for the Department of Public Works (DPW). The vehicles were purchased from Nielsen Ford, Morristown, in the amount of $60,785, according to a resolution.

The committee members also authorized the purchase of a Hamm tandem roller for the DPW. The tandem roller was purchased from JESCO Inc. at a cost of $62,099.

And, the committee members authorized two increases totaling $346,077 in a contract with Jads Construction Co. of New Jersey for the 2021 road and drainage improvement program. According to a resolution, the contract initially totaled $2.27 million. The revised amount is $2.61 million. The increase was due to unforeseen circumstances encountered by Jads Construction Co. and the township, according to the resolution.

Finally, the committee members passed separate resolutions assigning $240,000 as the not to exceed amount for a contract with Sodon’s Electric, Inc. for on-call electrical repair, service and maintenance; and $200,000 for a contract with Magic Touch Construction Company Inc. for on-call plumbing repair. Officials said a not to exceed amount was not established when the contracts were awarded to those companies in May.

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