Freehold Borough Council members all agree that West George Street, Stillwell Place, the Court Street parking lot, and Douglas Road are in need of improvement and repairs. However, how much to spend on those repairs does not have all of the council members seeing eye-to-eye.
At the Monday Freehold Borough Council meeting, board members voted on whether or not to pass a resolution that would award Earle Asphalt Company a contract to fix issues on discussed streets. Earle was the only company that bid to perform the repairs for $865,913.13. The resolution states that a grant in the amount of $175,000 would be applied to that cost.
Before voting, council members voiced their opinions on the bid from Earle.
“We got one road construction bid for roughly $866,000. Last year we had 17 bids for half the amount of work. I don’t know if this makes sense to you, because it certainly doesn’t make sense to me. I’m going to vote no tonight. Again, I am for all the road improvements they are going to do, my problem is one bid. That’s just not right,” said Councilman George Schnurr. “Taking municipal government out of the equation, if you were going to have work done on your home for one-tenth that amount, for $86,600, wouldn’t you get a second quote? Of course you would."
In response to Schnurr’s explanation, Councilman Jaye Sims provided his reasoning for voting yes to the resolution.
“Throughout the course of the current year, I sat in one resident’s driveway on Douglass Road and watched water just constantly fill up as a result of some of the heavy storms. This has been an ongoing issue for the last few years and I just feel that at this point, we need to go forward with this as well as other issues on some of our other streets regarding flooding. It is just an issue that we need to address as soon as possible. At this point, to put our residents through more waiting to address this issue is just not fair."
In the end, the resolution was passed with three 'yes' votes from Sims, Councilman Kevin Kane, and Councilman Michael DiBenedetto. Councilman John Newman abstained from voting because his running mate is one of the principals of the company doing the work. President Sharon Shutzer also abstained from voting because she lives on one of the streets that would be repaved. Schnurr was the only member of the council to vote against to the resolution.