The change order means that the township has now used 59 percent of the contingency that permitted the township to exceed the $11.4 million price tag attached to the project.
There were 10 items attached to that resolution, eight of which are required for the township to obtain a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy (TCO). Chief among these items is a needed guardrail around the solar panels on the roof of the building.
Other items involved alterations to the bathroom, including a change to the door and the adjustment of heights and locations for various bathroom accessories.
Many of the issues are interpretive according to Robert Notley, Project Executive with Greyhawk.
The issues were raised by the contractor during inspection, and Notley assured council the township was not treated unfairly.
“We sat down with the officials and had an open and frank dialogue,” Notley said. “But we stopped when we knew they were right.”
For the township to contest the contractor’s interpretation, the issue would have to be reviewed by the Department of Community Affairs (DCA), which would make a ruling after a 30-day period.
Notley warned that even if the township won an appeal, it could create a rift with the contractor and leave Moorestown in a precarious position.
Council determined it was better to pay the change order than contest the interpretation, approving the resolution, 4-0. Mayor Chris Chiacchio was absent.
The project was completed on time and council held its first meeting in the new town hall on May 19. Council spent the last few years holding meetings in the township's various schools following a fire that claimed the old complex in 2011.
The new library has yet to open, and the grand opening is tentatively scheduled to take place following Labor Day.
Monday's meeting began with Councilwoman Victoria Napolitano requesting the resolution be tabled because she didn’t have time to review the resolution prior to the vote.
Council members didn’t receive their agenda packets until Monday morning due to a technical issue, and Napolitano said she’d feel better voting on a $43,000 decision if she was given more time. Due to the urgency of the matter and the discussion clarifying the issues Monday night, Napolitano withdrew her request and voted in favor of the resolution.
She said her problem may be indicative of a bigger issue.
“We talked about getting the agendas further in advance,” Napolitano said, suggesting that council members receive their packets as early as Wednesday, with the understanding that last minute changes were possible.
“It’s been a thorn in my side since I’ve been on council,” Councilman Phil Garwood said. “Even receiving the agenda Friday morning is too late. It needs to be moved up a day.”
Councilman Greg Newcomer concurred, adding he’s had email problems within the last 10 days.
“We need to improve the process,” Newcomer said.