Coun­cil ap­proves $10.5 mil­lion bid for bor­ough hall, of­fices

The Times Herald (Norristown, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By CARL ROTEN­BERG

CON­SHOHOCKEN — Coun­cil ap­proved the ap­par­ently low bid of $10.5 mil­lion to con­struct the Con­shohocken Bor­ough Hall and po­lice sta­tion and re­tail spa­ces in the for­mer Ver­i­zon build­ing Wed­nes­day night, con­tin­gent on a fa­vor­able re­view of the con­trac- tor’s qual­i­fi­ca­tions by the bor­ough en­gi­neer.

Bor­ough En­gi­neer Paul Hughes said he will re­view TN Ward Co. of Lower Me­rion, and the con­tract can be signed after Sept. 15.

Hughes opened the $10,497,600 elec­tronic bid from TN Ward Fri­day, along with nine al­ter­nate bid op­tions to give coun­cil lee­way to trim the ul­ti­mate

cost of the project. Al­lied Con­struc­tion Ser­vices of Philadel­phia bid $10,583,439, and Murphy Quigley Co. Inc. of Lower Me­rion bid $12,976,000 for the gen­eral con­tract.

Hughes rec­om­mended au­tho­riz­ing an in­tent to award the base bid and five al­ter­nate bid items with a to­tal cost of $10,709,600onWed­nes­day night.

Hughes also rec­om­mended elim­i­nat­ing a $713,000 al­ter­nate for a sec­ond en­trance on Fourth Av­enue that would have in­cluded site work, struc­tures, stairs, ex­te­rior en­ve­lope, in­te­rior re-con­fig­u­ra­tion and all as­so­ci­ated me­chan­i­cal, elec­tri­cal, plumb­ing and fire pro­tec­tion el­e­ments.

The al­ter­nate bids to be awarded in­clude a veg­e­ta­tive tray sys­tem on the main roof for $103,500; a roof screen for the rooftop me­chan­i­cal sys­tems for $46,500; a six-panel, closed-loop so­lar hot­wa­ter ar­ray for a $38,500; an up­grade in the rub­ber roof thick­ness from 0.06 inch to 0.09 inch for $13,500; and a ground face ce­ment block rather than split face for $10,000.

Hughes will have five days to do a con­trac­tor re­spon­si­bil­ity re­view. There will be a five-day pe­riod for pub­lic re­view of the bid award. Be­cause the end of the 10-day pe­riod lands on a Sun­day, the next business day, Sept. 15, is the first date when a con­struc­tion con­tract can be signed, Hughes said.

Coun­cil­man Matt Ryan asked Bor­ough Man­ager Richard Man­fredi to ask Key­stone Prop­erty Group of­fi­cials to make a pre­sen­ta­tion on how the re­tail and of­fice spa­ces will be mar­keted to the com­mer­cial com­mu­nity.

In other business, coun­cil heard a pro­posal from an Up­per Me­rion de­vel­oper to ac­cept ei­ther a $1.2 mil­lion pay­ment to set­tle an on­go­ing law­suit against Con­shohocken or the con­struc­tion of a water­front open space, re­strooms and un­der­ground stormwa­ter fa­cil­i­ties at a pro­posed 598-unit apart­ment com­plex in four build­ings.

At­tor­ney Ed­mund Camp­bell, rep­re­sent­ing O’Neill Prop­er­ties Group (OPG), said the de­vel­oper was propos­ing a com­pro­mise to the de­vel­oper’s law­suit against Con­shohocken of­fi­cials to al­low con­struc­tion of 619 apart­ments in four build­ings at 401 Wash­ing­ton Ave.

Brian O’Neill, pres­i­dent of OPG, said his company would build a ser­vice build­ing with re­strooms and a sec­ond, con­nected build­ing on the Schuylkill River bank to cre­ate “an ac­ti­vated water­front.”

“We tried to tie this to an al­ter­na­tive $1.2 mil­lion pay­ment to Con­shohocken as a set­tle­ment with the bor­ough,” O’Neill said. “We would like you to agree to ne­go­ti­ate a fi­nal agree­ment.”

O’Neill said his pro­posal would re­duce fu­ture traf­fic in the water­front area com­pared to his pre­vi­ous pro­posal.

“We would like you to of­fer to make a set­tle­ment,” he said.

O’Neill said the new pro­posal had 598 apart­ment units in four build­ings.

Solic­i­tor Michael Savona­saidCon­shohocken of­fi­cials would need to meet with Whitemarsh of­fi­cials to dis­cuss how to han­dle the con­tin­u­a­tion of Wash­ing­ton Av­enue. O’Neill and Con­shohocken of­fi­cials would like to widen Wash­ing­ton Av­enue in front of the David’s Bridal build­ing.

“There are ac­cess ease­ments from two prop­erty own­ers on those road ar­eas,” O’Neill said.

“We won’t make a decision tonight. But you should fin­ish your pre­sen­ta­tion,” coun­cil Vice Pres­i­dent James Grif­fin said,

Zon­ing Of­fi­cer Chris­tine Stetler said the cur­rent plans have not been re­viewed or dis­trib­uted to the plan­ning com­mis­sion mem­bers.

“The rain gar­dens are so huge that the recre­ational space is almost un­us­able. This plan has not been re­viewed by the Mont­gomery County Plan­ning Com­mis­sion,” Stetler said. “This landed lit­er­ally on the chair on my of­fice yes­ter­day af­ter­noon.”

Savona said that the plan sets have been re­vised sev­eral times.

O’Neill said coun­cil had given one apart­ment plan with 619 apart­ment units a pre­lim­i­nary ap­proval about one year ago.

Ryan said he val­ued the pro­posed open space on the river bank.

Coun­cil had to de­cide by Sept. 31 whether to ap­prove one set of plans or set­tle the de­vel­oper’s law­suit, Savona said.

Follow Carl Roten­berg on Twit­ter @Carl­Writer. got to pay a fine,” the af­fi­davit said.

Sim­mons gave the of­fi­cer a li­cense which he said looked like it had been “fraud­u­lently of­fered,” ac­cord­ing to the af­fi­davit.

Among the prob­lems Craw­ford al­legedly found with the li­cense in­cluded no holo­graphic over­lay, dis­torted writ­ing and photo, and a Penn­syl­va­nia state graphic “in the lower right cor­ner ap­pear(ed) to have been col­ored with a blue marker.”

There was also no li­cense class, re­stric­tions or en­dorse­ments on the li­cense, po­lice said.

Sim­mons was ar­rested on sev­eral mis­de­meanors in­clud­ing ex­hibit­ing a fake ID, tam­per­ing with pub­lic records, unsworn fal­si­fi­ca­tion to a po­lice of­fi­cer, pos­sess­ing an in­stru­ment of crime and us­ing or pos­sess­ing a fake ID. He was also charged with fail­ure to stop at a red sig­nal, driv­ing with­out a li­cense and driv­ing while his li­cense has been sus­pended or re­voked, all sum­mary charges.

A search of court records in­di­cated Sim­mons has been cited twice al­ready this year for driv­ing with­out a li­cense. He also has sev­eral traf­fic of­fenses listed to his name dat­ing back to 2009, most in­volv­ing driv­ing with­out a li­cense.

Follow Frank Otto on Twit­ter @fot­to­journo.

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