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Covering Hamilton and Robbinsville townships in-depth for The Trentonian. I can be reached at (609) 989-7800 ext. 207 or (609) 468-6962. Email me at or follow me @awisefool.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Birdsall contract gets voted down in council

Hamilton Town Council spent a good portion of its meeting Tuesday night talking about what one councilman called the “800 pound elephant in the room:” concerns over an engineering firm in the middle of a pay-to-play violations case.
Councilman Dennis Pone, who gave the issue the moniker, and several other members said they were worried over a proposal from the company, Birdsall Services Group, which had a bid for emergency work on the township’s sewer building before the council last night.
“We’ve all had reservations about the company,” Pone said. “But this is an emergency, this is a safety issue and we have to award a contract...I don’t like it, I don’t like what I read in the paper.”
Councilman Dave Kenny said he did not share the same concerns because the process had been publicly bid and Birdsall came in with the lowest price.
“Whatever Birdsall did doesn’t affect the price here,” he said. “I don’t see any reason not to give it to them.”
The contract, which is to analyze for potential needed repairs to the RBC building in the township’s Water and Pollution Control complex, is for $8,200. The other bid, which came from a second engineering firm, came in at more than $18,000. Council voted down the contract with a two to two vote. It is not certain what will happen with the contract now that it has been defeated in council.
Councilman Ed Gore said he could not vote to give the firm the contract. Council President Kevin Meara also voted against the measure.

“I cannot in good conscience at this time vote to give Birdsall money,” Gore said.
Acting Business Administrator John Barrett said they had only asked for the two firms because they had done work in the facility before. He said the building, which had several pipes collapse in October, presented a problem for employee safety.
“It’s a painful decision based on the information presented,” he said. “I have township workers whose safety I have to assure.”
You can read the full story here.


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