The township’s initial construction timetable projected a fall 2021 completion. The contractor was awarded the contact at a July 2021 council meeting but has failed to proceed in accordance with the terms of the contract. Given this breach, the township notified the contractor of its intent to terminate the contract and rebid the project.
The contractor’s failure to break ground on time has now pushed the expected start date to spring 2022. However, the township does not expect a change of contractor to affect the project’s timetable any further. The township is preparing to bid the project this month with an estimated bid submission deadline of mid-January. This allows the new contractor enough time to commence work on the project in the spring of 2022 as soon as the weather allows.
“We are committed to bringing Percheron Park to life and extremely disappointed that this project won’t be completed as planned, but the township is not willing to continue investing in a contractor who is unable to fulfill their obligation,” said Township Manager Kevin Aberant.
Unlike the private sector, the township did not have the ability to hand-pick the project’s contractor. Under New Jersey Public Contracts Law, the township is required to accept the lowest bid.
A resolution to formally terminate the current contract is expected to be on the Monday, Dec. 13 Town Council meeting agenda.
“I’m disappointed, but I’m on board with council sending it out to bid again,” said Friends of Percheron Park member Gina Zegel, who noted she was looking forward to the project progressing forward.
The township is grateful to the Friends of Percheron Park who have continued to fundraise throughout the duration of the conceptualization and planning phases of the project. Residents wishing to contribute to the Friends’ fundraising efforts can visit http://percheronpark.org.