By Ron Leir
The office trailers are on site but so far, they’re sitting empty.
Such is the situation at the Kearny Municipal Utilities Authority at the end of Central Ave. where its five employees await utility hookups before they can move into temporary quarters.
In late April, the KMUA hired Daskal General Contractors of Wallington to tear down its existing offices, replace a water main and build new offices at a cost of $668,900.
Daskal was the lowest of five bidders, with prices ranging up to a high of $1.3 million.
The existing KMUA facility is a cramped space compromised by leaks and seepage from the elements – a condition exacerbated by superstorm Sandy – that has outlived its usefulness, officials said.
Initially, KMUA Executive Director Kevin O’Sullivan said, there was a delay moving the job ahead in “getting the contract executed and the insurance bond secured, so we held off on signing until we got all the documents.”
Now, O’Sullivan said, “we’re working on our temporary utility connections for the trailers.”
Last week, hookups for plumbing and electrical outlets were due to be completed.
Once the power is in place, then workers can set up phones and computers, he said.
Assuming local inspections go well and the authority gets a certificate of occupancy, “we’re hoping to be in [the trailers] in the next couple of weeks,” O’Sullivan said.
At that point, he said, the contractor should be “ready to begin demolition.”
The new facility, which will be built on the same footprint as the existing operation, will contain offices, a conference room, bathrooms and a small kitchen.
Daskal has previously been contracted by the Hudson County Improvement Authority to perform alterations of its offices on the ninth floor of an office building at 930 Bergen Ave., Jersey City.
The company has also worked as a sub-contractor for the North Bergen Municipal Utilities Authority and has done work for the N.J. Air National Guard.
Under its contract with the KMUA, the company has six months to complete the demolition and new construction, O’Sullivan said.
Meanwhile, the KMUA has put on hold installation of a new storm water sewer line along N. Hackensack Ave. – which is at its midway point – until the town can complete a water main job in the same location.
At the last meeting of the mayor and Town Council, Michael Neglia, the town’s consulting engineer, reported that construction on the water main project was scheduled to start by Aug. 25, that milling and paving should be done by Oct. 1 and that the project should be completed by Oct. 6.
Neglia said the town is hoping to get funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to fix the Pennsylvania Ave. storm water sewage pump which Sandy knocked out of commission, although since then, a temporary pump installed there has been working, according to town Public Works Supt. Gerry Kerr.
The pump services CSX and other industrial properties in that area, Kerr said. Mayor Alberto Santos said the town should learn by next month the status of the possible FEMA funding.