Frank N. D’Amore Sr.
On April 7, 2010 North Plainfield will be celebrating 3 years of gross ineptness in our ability to get the, 4 million dollar plus, construction / rehabilitation project of boro hall completed. According to the contract with the Dauti Construction Co. Inc. of West Orange, Dauti agreed to have the project completed 365 consecutive calendar days from the date of the Notice to Proceed. In a document signed by our Borough Administrator, David Hollod, the date of the “Notice to Proceed” is given as March 24,2006. We are now rapidly approaching April 7, 2010 and the job is still far from being completed. This is obviously evidenced by the fact that as a result of poor planning and poor execution of the provisions of the contract between North Plainfield and the Dauti Construction Co. Inc. we are being compelled to hold meetings that would normally be held at Boro Hall, at the community center. For example, council meetings, board of adjustment, planning board, etc. We are still using the facilities in Watchung Boro to conduct our municipal court on Tuesday and Thursday. We need to thank Watchung for their patients. In an agreement between Watchung and North Plainfield dated 12 April 2007,they agreed to let us use their court room until the estimated completion of our municipal building which was to be no later than December 31,2007. Looks like we were off by a few years. On the positive side,Watchung is not charging us for the use of their building. Thank you for that Watchung.
One of the contractual agreements was that in order to get the job Dauti Construction would have to secure a “Performance Bond” equal to the amount stated in the agreement, ($4,000.000.00) this performance bond was purchased from Great American Insurance. The purpose of a performance bond is to insure that the contractor complies to the provisions of the signed contract. The purchaser of the services, in this case the Borough of North Plainfield, has the legal right to have the job completed by a competent contractor when the original contractor cannot comply with the provisions of the agreement. It was very obvious, that after the first 6 months of work, the Dauti Construction Co. could not complete the job on time, or in the next 3, 4 , or even more years..
About 3 years ago at a council meeting a resident asked why the performance bond was not called into action.
This resident was told that if that were to happen the construction job would be delayed, could this job be delayed any more than is is now. When the Boro administration is asked when the work will be completed their answer is “soon”. Based on the number and cost of the change orders and other costs being generated by this job, the price has increased to significantly more than the original $4,000,000.00. A change order is an additional cost for something that was not in the original design or planning of the project. One would think that after paying over a half million dollars to the Cornerstone Architectural Group of South Plainfield to design and serve as the project manager this fiasco, they would get things right the first time. Poor administration =high taxes, that has been the case in North Plainfield for many years.
It took 410 days to complete the construction of the Empire State Building. At its completion American Society of Civil Engineers named the project “One of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World”. One can only guess what title they would give to this fiasco in North Plainfield.
Frank N. D’Amore Sr. 40 Willow Avenue North Plainfield, N.J. 07060-4548
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