By Ted Ryan
The Village of Munsey Park Board of Trustees voted 3-2 Wednesday night to hire an engineer to oversee road repair work in the village.
Based on her discussion with an engineer the village hired to evaluate its roads, Village Trustee Jennifer Noone said she thinks having an engineer’s oversight will expedite the villagewide project.
“You’re talking about a three-month project,” Noone said. “We’re already in February; if we decide we are going to engage an engineer tonight, you’re talking about a new road around April or May.”
Noone gathered bids from four different engineering firms willing to work on this project: Cashin Associates, D&B Engineering, Sidney B. Bowne & Son and James Antonelli.
The engineer that will be working on the project has yet to be chosen, the final cost for an engineer’s oversight will be about $125,000, Noone said.
Once an engineer is engaged, it will take three to four months for the engineer to get the project ready to put out to bid for a contractor, officials said. After the project has been publicized, it will take several weeks to receive bids from contractors.
It will take four to six weeks to construct the new roads once the village picks a contractor.
The village plans to borrow between $3 million and $5 million through bonds to rebuild roads that trustees identified as most needing repairs, Mayor Sean Haggerty and other village officials said.
The Board of Trustees engaged an engineer in December to assess the conditions and measurements of the roads, officials said.
Some trustees questioned the need to hire an engineer to oversee a relatively small project.
Haggerty, who voted against the move, said the village should hire a contractor without an engineer for oversight.
“We’re trying to figure out how to save as much money as we possibly can,” Haggerty said. “It’s going to be a $500,000 engineering fee where we could go out and probably hire someone who can do it.”
An engineer will be presenting a “long-term road strategy” to the board in March, Noone said.
Discussion on this project began in 2014, but the board was not prepared to make any action due to inadequate funds and lack of preparation, village officials said.
“It was a little premature because we didn’t know how we were going to tackle the long term road strategy, and also we were limited with funds and the budget,” Noone said. “But now from putting a halt on some temporary road work, we have some money which would be able to cover probably all of it.”