2013-08-15 / Front Page

Feist Engineering approved for capital projects in Monroe

By JACK MURTHA
Staff Writer

MONROE — Feist Engineering will handle the technical end of a series of capital projects this year in Monroe.

The Township Council approved a professional services contract with Feist at its Aug. 5 meeting. The agreement is valued at $325,000, according to Business Administrator Wayne Hamilton.

“This is the rollout of capital projects that will be completed by now and the end of the year,” Hamilton said.

The governing body previously greenlighted the improvements as part of the 2013 municipal budget, Hamilton said. He said the projects include drainage improvements; sidewalk, road and curb improvements; generators for the senior center and the community center; and construction administration for improvements to Cedar Brook Pond as part of a threeparty agreement between the township, Middlesex County and the Rossmoor senior community.

Ernest Feist, the owner of Feist Engineering and Monroe’s longtime township engineer, is currently out on unpaid medical leave, according to a previous Sentinel article. That followed a June 4 motor vehicle accident, which led to Feist being charged with two counts of aggravated assault and one count of assault by auto.

The Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office alleges that Feist was intoxicated at the time of the accident.

While Feist’s legal situation was not discussed during the meeting, one resident questioned why Monroe officials chose Feist’s firm to provide engineering services for the capital projects.

The township undergoes a request-forproposals process for professional service contracts once per year, and awards work to the selected businesses throughout the year, Hamilton said.

“It’s generally done at the end of the year for the work in the following year,” he added. “So the contract with Feist Engineering still has about four to five months.”

Feist secured the contract based on the bid it submitted in comparison to those of other engineering companies, Hamilton said.

The Township Council also approved a resolution that authorized Feist Engineering to prepare plans and advertise for bids for various capital projects.

In response to a question from a resident, Hamilton said the township completes the majority of the capital improvement projects authorized to take place in a given year. When there is leftover cash, the money is used as a credit to the capital budget, he said.

Contact Jack Murtha at jmurtha@gmnews.com.

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