Toms River Repairs To Be Done In-House To Save Money

Photo by Chris Lundy

  TOMS RIVER – Three projects were canceled by administration to save taxes, but some say that these projects still need to be done and it will cost the town more down the line. These topics came up at recent Township Council meetings.

  Mayor Daniel Rodrick said that his administration has “eliminated 18 unnecessary positions” saving $2.3 million and cut “$1.5 million in unnecessary projects.”

  The three projects are described in this article.

  The first project is siding on Shogun, the restaurant at the municipal Bey Lea Golf Course. Rodrick said that the money for this project came from a recreation grant for half a million dollars. He said that this should go to recreation specifically, not a restaurant. He said that money could do something new like install personal watercraft access.

Siding for the Shogun restaurant at Bey Lea Golf Course will be done in house. (Photo by Chris Lundy)

  In-house staff could do the work for $8,000 worth of aluminum siding, he said.

  When a town wants a project done, they ask for bids from professional companies.

  Councilman James Quinlisk asked if any of the bids that came in for the project were around $8,000. Rodrick answered that they were all around half a million.

  Quinlisk suggested that this means the project was really a half-million-dollar project.

  “Is there anyone from engineering we can ask?” Quinlisk asked, knowing that Township Engineer Robert Chankalian – who often was present at meetings during the prior administration – had resigned and not been replaced.

  A resident said the half-million-dollar project was to preserve the entire building. Councilman Justin Lamb said that only the back end of the building was in disrepair.

Some spots in the parking garage show damage. (Photo by Chris Lundy)

  Councilman George Lobman said that he looked at it himself and it could be done in-house.

  Councilman Thomas Nivison said “We’re going to do it in-house for a tenth of that.”

  Members of the public questioned why this decision was being made.

  “We ran to lower taxes and that’s what we’re going to do,” Councilwoman Lynn O’Toole said.

  “The grant is specifically for recreation. The intent of these grants is to increase recreational programs for us,” Rodrick said.

  “The whole building needs it,” Councilman David Ciccozzi said. “The jet skis are a good idea but this is the first time I’m hearing about it.”

  Quinlisk and Ciccozzi attempted to get the motion tabled – which means held off to another meeting – in order to gather more information, but they didn’t have enough votes to do this. Although the entire governing body is Republican, Quinlisk and Ciccozzi are from a different group than the majority.

Parking Garage Repair

  The majority of the Township Council also voted to reject bids to repair and repaint the municipal parking garage that’s near Town Hall. The winner was going to be Brave Industrial Paint.

  Quinlisk said that voting this down will cause more problems in the future. He and Ciccozzi wanted to look at the bids to see what the project specifically was.

  Ciccozzi later told The Toms River Times that he can’t research the items on the agenda because he usually gets it the morning of the meeting.

  “We believe spending half a million on painting is excessive,” Rodrick said.

Some spots in the parking garage show damage. (Photo by Chris Lundy)

  Council President Craig Coleman noted there are some repairs to do but nothing that can’t be handled in-house.

  The Toms River Times received a copy of the bid that was put out in November, under a previous administration.

  The sample proposal for the top side of the garage lists concrete spall repair; epoxy injection crack repair; recoating sections of concrete surfaces; scrape, clean and paint drain pipes; new filler in existing joints; replace building expansion joint material; remove and replace timber rails; and new drain caps.

  The sample proposal for the underside of the top level lists concrete spall repair; epoxy injection crack repair; scrape, clean and paint steel; scrape, clean and paint drain pipes; HSS structural posts; and shoring.

  HSS refers to hollow structural sections, high-strength welded steel tubing used in structures.

  The middle level (topside) lists concrete spall repair; epoxy injection crack repair; power wash concrete surfaces; new filler in existing joints; structural concrete; HSS structural post; and rebuild/repair masonry.

Photo by Chris Lundy

  The underside of the middle level lists concrete spall repair; epoxy injection crack repair; scrape, clean and paint steel; scrape, clean and paint drain pipes; two structural steel angles; HSS structural steel post and shoring.

  Toms River Parking Authority Executive Director Pam Piner said at a different meeting that the Authority is responsible for minor repair and painting. If it requires more considerable work, then they let the township engineering department know and it has to be a capitol project, which is what happened in this case.

  Rodrick said at a later meeting that a structural engineer will examine the garage to determine what needs to be fixed but it won’t cost the town half a million dollars.


  There was a contract for the town to purchase vehicles for the Public Works and Police departments from Pellegrino Chevrolet, Nielsen Ford of Morristown Inc. and Charles S. Winner Inc. but the majority of the council voted to cancel the purchase.

  Quinlisk said that the money for this project was already voted on, and that the vehicles are important.

  Council President Coleman said a lot of the vehicles being replaced have about 60,000 miles “and that’s nothing. We’re trying to save money right now. It doesn’t mean that in the future we can’t make these purchases.”

  Quinlisk said “It’s not just miles it’s the hours on it.” These vehicles are working much more than your personal car.

  Additionally, stopping this purchase restarts the clock on a lengthy municipal purchase process, and by the time that the town wants these vehicles, it could be a dire need, Quinlisk said. He also questioned where the town is in crafting the budget for the year since there hadn’t been a budget meeting for the first two months of the year.

New vehicles won’t be purchased because officials said there are older vehicles not in use. (Photo by Chris Lundy)

  Business Administrator Jonathan Salonis said the township has about 10 vehicles not currently being used. They should be brought into use instead of buying new.

  During the public comment portion of this item, Municipal Utilities Authority Commissioner Phil Brilliant, who has been very critical of the Rodrick administration, said that they start the process of buying way before they need it. “It took a year to get a pick-up truck.”

  Another resident, Jim Garwood, the retired police chief of Garwood, thought the town should purchase the vehicles. He said that a car with 60,000 miles on it now could have 90,000 on it a year from now. The cost savings comes from having to do less maintenance on newer vehicles.

  “You’re kicking the can down the road and it’s not going to help,” he said.